BOCA RATON, Fla. — Police officers searching a vehicle during a routine traffic stop Jan. 9 discovered a slew of stolen identity documents with the names, addresses, birth dates, phone numbers and Social Security numbers of dozens of people across the country, including from Maine, according to police.
An officer stopped the driver of the car, Ihuanhoje Ivagba, 57, of Miramar, after realizing Ivagba’s license plate was registered to a different car. Ivagba also reportedly was driving suspiciously, switching lanes without turn signals and driving aimlessly around the Town Center Mall parking lot.
When officers questioned Ivagba, he said the car belonged to his girlfriend, Elonshiree Altermese Carter, 34, of Miramar. Carter was in the passenger seat.
Since Carter’s vehicle tag was expired, Ivagba said, he put his car’s tag on the vehicle so he could drive around.
Officers instructed Ivagba and Carter to get out of the vehicle because they said they smelled marijuana coming from inside the car.
When police searched the vehicle, they reportedly found marijuana and numerous stolen documents. In addition, they found fraudulent credit cards opened using the names listed on the documents.
Carter also was in possession of a driver’s license issued in Maine, with her picture and another woman’s name. When contacted in Maine, the woman said she learned last week that her identity was stolen while trying to open a new credit card account.
When questioned by police, Carter said the documents must have been placed in the car by her mechanic. Meanwhile, Ivagba said he found the documents in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant.
Ivagba and Carter were arrested and charged with identity theft, possession of marijuana and attaching an unassigned tag to a vehicle. Ivagba was released Friday after posting $2,000 bond, and Carter was released Saturday after posting $3,000 bond.
The investigation into the identity theft continues.
Distributed by MCT Information Services