Man charged with ID theft after visit to cell phone store

A man from Brooklyn, NY, is facing almost a decade in prison for ID theft and more after he allegedly tried to exchange the SIM card in a stolen mobile phone at a local cell phone carrier store.

Keene Charles, 33, was charged in Racine County Circuit Court with one felony count of ID theft, two misdemeanor counts of obstruction, and one misdemeanor count of theft. If convicted, he faces almost eight years in prison and/or up to $40,000 in fines.

Police called for ID theft

According to the criminal complaint, Charles visited the Verizon store Thursday on Durand Avenue in Mount Pleasant to replace the SIM card in a cell phone. He presented identification with another person’s name and had knowledge of the individual’s account, so employees completed the transaction. The person to whom the phone really belonged flagged their account for fraud, which caused the new SIM card to stop working. When Charles returned to the store because the new SIM card was no longer operational, employees phoned the police for possible ID theft.

When police approached Charles, he fled on foot but was apprehended after tripping over a curb, the complaint continues. He gave them a false name but had on his person the ID of the owner of the phone as well as several cards, including a GAP credit card in the person’s name as well.

Charles was assigned a $1,000 cash bond and will next be in court on July 7 for his preliminary hearing.

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