Man takes to Facebook to find identity thief - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Man takes to Facebook to find identity thief

A Lee's Summit man is trying to figure out who the person in this picture is. The man has written a check in his name. A Lee's Summit man is trying to figure out who the person in this picture is. The man has written a check in his name.

A Lee's Summit man was accused of committing a crime that he has proof he didn't commit and now he's taken an unusual step to catch the real crook who could ruin his credit.

The victim was accused of going to a game room and outdoor store and doing some shopping, but it turned out to be someone else pretending to be him who was writing a bad check.

Ron Labayen said he can't remember the last time he wrote a check, so he was surprised when he got a letter from the Johnson County District Attorney's Office about a check that bounced in his name. It was written at Amini's Outdoor Rugs and Game Room, located near 105th Street and Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park, KS.

"Of course I did call them and I disputed the check. I said I had not written any checks in a long time. In fact I got rid of checks a long time ago," he said.

Labayen went to the store and they provided him with a crystal clear surveillance picture of the man who pretended to be him.

"Of course I was thinking maybe it's somebody I know, so I looked at it. No, I don't really know that guy," he said.

The crook wrote a check with Labayen's name and social security number on it and bought one expensive pool stick.

"One pool stick for $181. It was a pretty nice pool stick I guess. That's mind boggling that a guy would go around writing false checks for frivolous stuff it seems," Labayen said.

He filed a police report, but that's not all he did. His wife decided to post the picture on Facebook hoping someone will recognize the thief.

"I never thought about using that as an alternative about getting the word out there. That was a good idea on her part to get it out there. So far she's heard several people say he looks familiar, but nobody's putting a name on it yet," Labayen said.

Overland Park police say using social media as a tool to get the suspected thief identified is a great idea, but they discourage victims from ever going after the criminal themselves once they get a name.

"Well the vigilante part. You certainly don't want anybody going after these people, especially if they're not sure they're the ones, and accusing them of anything like that. Let the police handle it is the main thing," said Officer Gary Mason.

Amini's said they have a strict policy of checking customers who write checks for two forms of ID, so they believe the thief probably has fake IDs with Labayen's name on it.

Labayen is contacting the credit bureau to alert them that his identity has been stolen. He and police ask you to contact Overland Park Police if you recognize the man in the surveillance picture.

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