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Identity theft charges are filed

Published January 21. 2012 09:01AM

Hector Enchautegui Jr., 32, of 3512 Limestone Drive, Whitehall, faces charges from an incident which took place at 11:49 p.m. Dec. 17, 2010.

Charges of identity theft, false identification to law enforcement, false reports to law enforcement, drivers required to be licensed, driving under suspension, registration and certificate of title required, and violations concerning licenses. were filed by Lansford officer Jason Helmer. according to an affidavit of probable cause:

Helmer was dispatched to the 200 block of West Water Street for a report of a suspicious vehicle, possibly involving a firearm. The vehicle was described as a white Saturn sedan. The car had left the area before Helmer arrived.

A car fitting that description, bearing an expired license plate, was seen traveling on East Patterson Street. Helmer stopped the car at East Patterson and Pardee streets. The driver identified himself as Jose Baez, with a birth date of 0/1978, and an address of 1729 W. Washington St., Allentown.

"Baez" told Helmer he had had an argument with a man in that area. A passenger in the car was identified as Trevor Strohl.

A check of Baez' information revealed that his driver's license was suspended. Following the investigation, Baez was released and made arrangements for someone to pick him up.

On Jan. 14, 2011, after receiving certified copies of the driver's license and vehicle registration, two summary traffic citations against Baez were filed with District Judge Casimir Kosciolek.

On Feb. 2, 2011, Helmer received a call from a male identifying himself as Jose Baez, reporting that he had received the citations, but had no knowledge of their origin.

Baez said this had also occurred in the past, resulting in his license being suspended. Baez said he suspected Enchautegui as being the person responsible for using his information. Baez said Enchautegui admitted to him that he had previously used Baez' information in the past when stopped by police.

On Feb. 13, 2011, Baez arrived at the Lansford police station, and was positively identified through his driver's license. He was not the driver of the Saturn sedan on Dec. 17, 2010.

Baez gave a written statement to the effect that Enchautegui has his information because the two were once friends and Baez had worked for Enchautegui.

A photo search was conducted through JNET for Enchautegui. Whitehall Township police went to his address in Whitehall and spoke with Enchautegui's mother, Anna Morales, who said she had not seen her son for several days and did not have a phone number where he could be reached.

Police then spoke with Morales over the phone, and she told them she was familiar with Baez, and was aware that Enchautegui had used Baez' information at a traffic stop in the past.

Police have yet to find Enchautegui to arrange for an interview, and have requested that a warrant be issued for his arrest.

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