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SV woman falls victim to identity theft

Posted at 6:21 PM, Dec 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-04 20:21:21-05

SIERRA VISTA (KGUN9-TV) - A Sierra Vista woman recently fell victim to identity theft after someone else was arrested under her name.

Sierra Vista police booked another woman on a burglary charge earlier this week. The impersonator spent two days in jail before anyone realized a mistake had been made.

The victim's name is Brandi Hill. It's the same name another woman gave Sierra Vista officers when she was arrested. Brandi says she found out about the issue on Facebook and now she wants to clear her name. 

On December 1, a woman named Bridgett Wright was arrested for burglary. But ,when she was taken into custody she gave officers Brandi's name, date of birth and social security number.
 
"It's pretty much that simple," said Sierra Vista police officer William Heiple. "We try to use demographics if we have demographics available. In this case, she gave the name,she gave the date of birth, which in this case were identifying factors for the individual. We had no reason to believe that this wasn't the person that they were dealing with."
 
Officers say because Brandi and Bridgett fit the same demographic they didn't initially catch the mistake.
 
"That's a horrible process," said Brandi. "That basically to me says that anybody could get pulled over, give a valid name, a valid social, a valid date of birth and they're like 'okay, you're gonna get charged with this.' It could have been a serious crime under my name. Had this been a murder, or something like that, that's something that's gonna haunt me."
 
The Sierra Vista Police Department says their officer's didn't do anything wrong.
 
"Basically if they give us the information and it comes back as valid, unless theres theres something that sticks out or someone says this isn't something right," said Heiple. But if you're very close in height, you're not that far different in weight, from what was given, and same somewhat in close in look in appearance, its easy to do.
 
The real Brandi Hill is now working with officers to clear her name and make sure it doesn't happen again. Bridgett Wright remains in the Cochise County jail. Wright is now being charged with several counts of identity theft and fraud.