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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, December 16, 2005
Jim Chamberlain, Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, 360-786-5659
Dan Kimball, Chief Criminal Deputy, 360-786-5516
Jim Dunn, Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, 360-786-5519
Jon Tunheim, Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office, 360-786-5540

Planning Underway for Thurston County Identity Theft Summit

​OLYMPIA – A summit on improving the criminal justice system's response to Identity Theft will be held in February in Thurston County .  The summit is intended to focus the energies of law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, financial institutions, local government leaders and others on these crimes and to seek unified solutions for improving the system's handling of these difficult and complex cases. 

Detective Jim Dunn of the Thurston County Sheriff's Office says the complexities of such financial crimes are significant.  "One individual can create chaos in the life of one victim and in many cases there are multiple victims.  Also, one suspect my commit many separate crimes such as mail theft, ID theft, forgery, possession of counterfeit checks or the software to make counterfeit checks, possession of fake ID, possession of stolen ID, financial fraud and more."   Chief Criminal Deputy Dan Kimball states that identity theft is a growing segment of crime in the county.  "In 2005 we are projecting 750 I.D. theft related cases for the Sheriff's Office.  We will probably only be able to investigate about 250 of those.  That's just for the Sheriff's Office; when you figure in all the cases being investigated by law enforcement throughout Thurston County you begin to see the significance of the problem."

Kimball says the summit will bring together folks who may be able to take a broader look at identity theft.  "This is a crime that is often committed across jurisdictional boundaries and there are sometimes multiple investigations into one suspect's activities.

 That also means victims have to deal with several police agencies and with different reports.  We are hopeful that some recommendations will come out of the summit to help us better track the perpetrators of identity theft and fraud as well as to better assist the victims."

This " Summit " is a local effort in conjunction with the Attorney General's statewide initiatives against fraud and ID theft.  Attorney General Rob McKenna will be the opening speaker at the Thurston County Summit.    Kimball says summit organizers are looking for community cooperation in the summit.  "We already have a lot of participation from law enforcement agencies across the county, financial institutions, the Thurston County Prosecutor's Office, the Thurston County Methamphetamine Coalition, Together, Thurston County Public Health and Social Services and Crime Stoppers.  We are hoping that local elected officials will want to attend and we are looking for financial sponsors as well." 

Those interested in sponsoring the summit, or who wish to find out more, can contact Captain Jim Chamberlain at the Thurston County Sheriff's Office, 786-5659 or 786-5500.

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3