Identity theft leaves man in jail over Easter weekend - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Identity theft leaves man in jail over Easter weekend

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- It was not the sort of Easter weekend Jeff Detrick had in mind.

An apparent case of stolen identity resulted in Detrick spending four days in the Tulsa Jail for another man's crime.

"I was guilty until proven innocent," he said.

A man who was arrested on complaints of possession of a stolen vehicle, having an improper license plate and failure to have a driver's license on his person while driving told arresting officers that his name was Jeff Detrick. He even gave Detrick's date of birth as his own.

When the man didn't show up for a court date on the complaints after being released on bond, a warrant was issued and Tulsa police showed up Saturday morning and arrested the real Detrick.

"I didn't know what was going on the first day," said Detrick, 25. "I told them and told them it wasn't me. They told me, `Tell it to the judge.' "

A family acquaintance who is an attorney convinced officials at the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office to look into the situation, and Detrick was released Tuesday.

Assistant District Attorney David K. Robertson said false impersonation is a common ploy by arrested suspects. Such a charge may be added to the list against the man who gave Detrick's name at the time of his arrest, Robertson said.

The suspect's real identity has not been released because the man is still at large.

Detrick is eager to know how the man got his name and his birthdate.

"After all this was sorted out, they showed me the guy's mug shot. I've never seen him before in my life," Detrick said.

Detrick missed two days of work at his construction job and holiday plans with relatives.

"My entire family's Easter was ruined by this," he said. "My mother spent the whole time on the phone trying to find help because she knew I was innocent."

Detrick's family gathered for a belated Easter celebration Wednesday at a local restaurant.
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