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Monday, March 19 News

New Jersey man charged with ID theft

WESTPORT — A New Jersey man is facing numerous charges after he purchased goods using a fraudulent credit card under a Westport resident’s name, police said.

Westport police arrested William Brawer, 61, of Franklin Lakes, N.J., as part of a year-long investigation that involved Pennsylvania police and other Connecticut authorities.

Police first began the investigation on June 24, 2016, when a Westport man reported his identity had been stolen. Police said the man received a Home Depot credit card, which he never applied for, in the mail. The card, police later learned, was used to make fraudulent purchases in Norwalk.

Months later in January 2017, Westport police learned the same suspect entered a Verizon store in town and purchased $2,675-worth of phones and mobile hotspots using an identity stolen from a Berlin resident. Using video surveillance from the store, police were able to identify Brawer, who was under investigation by multiple other law enforcement agencies around New England for similar crimes.

On Feb. 19, Brawer was eventually extradited to Watertown Police Department, where he was charged with theft crimes.

Brawer was later transferred to Westport police on Feb. 27. He was charged with two counts of third-degree identity theft, third-degree larceny, third-degree forgery and criminal impersonation. He was held on a $20,000 bond and was given a court date later that day.