Assembly bill enhancing enforcement of statute on identity theft advances

CARSON CITY — A Nevada teenager who said he was saddled with someone else’s criminal record before he finished grade school testified Wednesday on behalf of a state identity theft bill.

Carlos Hernandez told the Senate Judiciary Committee he’s been handcuffed several times by police who have stopped him for speeding and found a record of domestic violence and drunken driving charges.

The 19-year-old said he also had to shelve his goal of joining the Navy or becoming a police officer because of the rap sheet. Giving prospective employers copies of police reports that exonerate him, showing that the crimes were actually committed by someone else, haven’t helped, he said.

"They usually tell you they’ll call," Hernandez, a restaurant manager, said. "But I’ll call back, and they’ll say the position’s been filled."

Hernandez said he didn’t learn his Social Security number and name had been stolen until he was 18, when a car dealership turned him down for a loan application. Paperwork shows his identity was stolen and used before he turned nine.

Current state law gives victims three years to file a complaint with law enforcement. The bill Hernandez endorsed, Assembly Bill 83, would give victims who were minors when their identities were stolen up to four years after they realize they have become victims to fight charges.

The committee unanimously approved the bill, which heads to the full Senate.

Las Vegas police Sgt. Anthony Aguillard said people often discover they’ve been victimized when they get refused for loans, credit cards or apartments.

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