By Karen Zautyk
Thanks to diligent police work, “a very involved” case of identity theft, dating back to December, has been solved and the suspect is now behind bars.
The accused, Donnell Prime, 37, of Union, was taken into custody by Kearny officers last week and was remanded to the Hudson County Jail.
The victim was a local businessman whose bank account had been depleted by roughly $72,000, police said.
Police Chief John Dowie said the theft was first reported Dec. 18 when the victim was alerted to charges being made against the account. Officer Tom Bannon responded to the man’s place of business on Garfield Ave. and was informed that the victim had ruled out the possibility of internal theft, Dowie said. Bannon collected information and passed it on to Det. Ray Lopez for investigation. The detective obtained documentation and “painstakingly itemized the various transactions, which were many,” Dowie said.
The victim’s account reportedly registered charges at Best Buy, Comcast, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry, among others. Police said there was also a charge for a Hoveround motorized wheelchair.
Lopez contacted the various entities and gathered additional information on what names were being used to make the purchases and the addresses to which deliveries were made. Prime, who according to Dowie, has “a history of these type of fraudulent activities,” was developed as the suspect.
A warrant was issued for Prime’s arrest, and at 3 p.m., May 20, Lopez, Det. Sgt. John View and Det. Michael Farinola went to his place of employment in Elizabeth and took him into custody.
Charged with theft by deception, Prime is being held in the county jail on $35,000 bail, no 10% option.