Posted on January 25, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Wednesday, Jan 25 at 3:05 PM
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. -- The Rowan County Sheriff's Office said a man accused of stealing customer information from his place of work and opening fraudulent accounts has turned himself in.
Deputies charged Walter Darnell Austin, 45, with felony identity theft, felony identity theft trafficking and felony obtaining property by false pretenses after he obtained numerous customers’s information through his employment with Windstream.
According to the police report, Austin accessed old files with Windstream customers and opened fraudulent accounts with several online retail companies. He ordered merchandise from these companies and had them delivered to an unoccupied house in Rowan County.
Deputies said they recovered thousands of dollars in fraudulent merchandise from Austin’s office in Kannapolis, and believe he's been doing this for the last year.
Investigators said they notified Windstream and met with representatives from the company, who are working with the investigation and making efforts to assist in identifying any customers that were victims in the crime.
Austin was jailed under a $10,000 secured bond. Additional warrants have been obtained from the Rowan County Sheriff's Office and Cabarrus County Sheriff's Office for more charges against Austin, according to the police report.
Anybody with information about this crime is asked to contact Rowan County Sheriff's Office at 704-216-8687.