5 On Your Side

Oxford Teen Charged With Committing Identity Theft

Posted May 14, 2003 10:02 a.m. EDT

— Each year, 20,000 North Carolinians have their identities stolen, but that number may soon be reduced, thanks to the Oxford Police Department.

Quentin Strater, 19, is charged with more than 20 felonies related to identity theft.

Police say in one case, Strater cleaned out a victim's checking account. When her checks started bouncing, the police arrested her. Another alleged victim was a police officer from Henderson.

Police say Strater knew a teller at the State Employees Credit Union in Oxford, and they say the teller gave Strater names and Social Security numbers.

Strater's arrest has given at least one alleged victim peace of mind.

"If I had my way, I'd leave him in jail forever," Geraldine Downey said.

If you think you have had your identity stolen, there is help. State Attorney General Roy Cooper has created a

Web site

to help you get your life back.