Bronx man accused of stealing fallen trooper's identity

December 28, 2016 06:15 PM

COLONIE - Trooper Timothy Pratt's funeral in South Glens Falls on October 31, 2016 was attended by police officers from across the country. On the same day, a man walked into a Home Depot in the Bronx to open up a $5,000 line of credit suing Trooper Timothy Pratt's identity, including his social security number.

"These are very hard crimes to investigate because they are interstate and sometimes out of the country," says New York State Police Captain Robert Patnaude. "We see the worst in people so we expect things like this."

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Patnaude says he and every other trooper took it personally when their colleague Tim Pratt's daughter told them she received a phone call while attending her father's funeral from Home Depot trying to verify what was happening downstate.

"We've always had things where people look at obituaries and there's burglaries at the house during wakes and funerals," Patnaude points out, "There's a lot of people out there with very low character so they take advantage of every opportunity they have."

After a two-month long investigation, troopers raided a home in the Bronx on Tuesday, seizing more than a dozen cell phones and stolen ID cards, and arresting 31-year old Steven Calderon on identity theft charges.

"Praying on deceased people is probably a better way for them to go about it," he says, "They don't have a victim to complain. No one is calling."

Patnaude says he's certain there are many more people involved and it's likely the crime spreee stretches across the country.

Calderon is now in the Saratoga County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail.


WNYT Staff

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