by: Tony Thomas Updated:
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Duluth police say their own department is now the victim of an identity theft crime and they are hunting for the suspect.
Investigators said local attorney and businessman Charles Petty created at least two bogus police reports with the Duluth Police Department logo on them. He allegedly used the documents to try and convince the credit bureaus that he was the victim of ID theft. Investigators believe he wanted Experian and others to wipe out more than $250,000 in debt he'd incurred.
Earlier this week, police took out arrest warrants on Petty. Duluth Police Major Don Woodruff called it a very bold crime.
"Anyone who knows anything about police reports if you read this report, it is 100 percent bogus," Woodruff said.
Police tell Channel Two's Gwinnett Bureau Chief Tony Thomas they fear there are many more victims out there because they said since Petty had his Georgia law license terminated, he and his wife have been running two other businesses, including a credit cleaning service.
Investigators said they wondered if Petty had tried the same bogus police reporting for some of his customers.
Online, Petty is very easy to find. He has done several video's claiming he and wife Kim are the "king and queen of virtual real estate."
One video claims investors "will make money in today's economy." Petty told viewers in one interview that his number one tip is "don't let anyone tell you you can't be successful in this real estate market."
But investigators said Petty himself was so broke he resorted to the crime to try to climb out of debt.
"There are fraud reports regarding this individual that go back as 2007," Woodruff said.
Police said they have had no luck tracking Petty down. Thomas also went looking for the Pettys. He visited three businesses and homes where the Pettys have worked or lived, but no one answered at any of the doors. In one business complex, the landlord told Thomas she too was looking for Petty after he skipped out on his lease a few months ago.
"Any idea if he's still around?" Thomas asked Woodruff.
"He probably is, we just can't run him down right now. It's only a matter of time of course," Woodruff replied.
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