Trouble Keeps Coming For Tulsa ID Theft Victim

Tuesday, May 12th 2009, 10:59 pm
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America and usually involves someone using your identity to steal your money.  The News On 6 found one victim who would have been thrilled if the suspect in her case only wanted money.

The real Sherie Harris had her driver's license was stolen in 2000.  She says a woman now behind bars is using her name, birth date and social security number from that license.

Sherie doesn't know the suspect, but, says whenever Taisha O'Brien gets arrested, it goes on Sherie's record.

It started when Sherie learned she'd been arrested for stealing cars.  Sherie was seven months pregnant at the time.

"I said oh my God. I called the police station and they said you were released an hour ago. I said no, that's not me," said Sherie Harris.

Sherie went to court and told the judge it wasn't her and even the man who owned the car said she wasn't the thief.  The judge sent her to the police department and they made a note in the record.

"I thought that was the end of it, that they'd nip it in the bud. I moved on with my life," said Sherie Harris.

But, it wasn't the end.

In 2006, Sherie was turned down for jobs and apartments because her background check showed felony convictions.  Convictions that actually belonged to Taisha O'Brien still using Sherie's identity.

Sherie went to the sheriff's office and got fingerprinted for the OSBI and to the DA's office.

"The only thing I can tell you is change your social security number and name. Why would I change my; name and social security number for something somebody else has done?" said Sherie Harris.

She lives in fear the imposter will cause trouble and the real Sherie will get blamed.

"I'm with my kids 80% of the time and if I go to jail, I don't have anybody to call to come get me or tell someone I'm in jail for I don't even know what," said Sherie Harris.

The OSBI gave Sherie a letter that says she has no convictions, but she says many employers don't care about a letter, all they see is a criminal record.          

She wants her record cleared and O'Brien prosecuted for identity theft.

But, there's no real system for taking crimes you didn't commit off your record.

Sherie's social security number and birth date are no longer on the local records, but her name is.

One District Attorney told The News On 6 that state lawmakers would have to pass a law to address the matter. 

Meanwhile, Sherie has new troubles.  She just learned her state taxes have been withheld to pay O'Brien's overdue fines.

O'Brien has not been arrested for or charged with using Harris' identity.