Phony name check for subject with no ID

January 26, 2010

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Pat McCarthy Street Crimes
with Pat McCarthy

Tip: Phony name check for subject with no ID

Many times police officers/street agents find themselves talking to a street stop subject or have contact with an individual who has no identification on them to properly identify who they are. In other cases they may have falsified documents — but we’ll work that angle in my next Investigations Tip. With no identification the subject can easily lie to law enforcement and give false information as to their real identity. Unfortunately, we don’t have the capability to fingerprint everyone to make a proper identification of that person and must rely on the information that the subject provides us.

When I was working the streets if I encountered a subject that didn’t have identification or I felt that the identification they did have was bogus. I would use a little ruse that proved very effective in my efforts to learn the person’s true identity. I would obtain all the subjects pertinent information (i.e., name, height, weight, D.O.B., social security number, etc.) and pretend to run a computer name check on the bogus information they provided me. I would then wait a few minutes and then grab the suspect telling them that they were wanted for murder in Texas or another state you choose. I guarantee they will now tell you the truth of who they really are.

I once stopped a junkie burglar who had no identification on him. He gave me a story of how he had recently lost his wallet and hadn’t had the time yet to get new IDs. I had a good suspicion that he was giving me the bull, so I asked him for all his vital information, which he readily provided. After obtaining his D.O.B., social security number, etc., I pretended to run a name check on him. I waited a few minutes and then grabbed him telling him he was wanted for murder. He started to freak out, telling me that the information that he had just given me was false and that his real name was Billy Fender. He further stated that he had a theft warrant on him and that his drivers’ license was in his sock under his right foot.

He couldn’t remove his right shoe and sock fast enough, telling me to run his name and I would discover that he in fact was wanted, not for murder, but for theft. He handed me his real drivers license and when I ran a legit name check on him this time, he did have an outstanding theft warrant on him. He was quite happy to get locked up for the theft warrant and not for the murder charge that I had originally confronted him with.


About the author

Pat McCarthy served 25 years with the Chicago PD. During his career, Pat worked Patrol, SWAT, spent five years undercover in the gang unit, and spent 11 years on three separate federal task forces with the FBI. Pat also created the three day Street Crimes training seminar in 1994.

The unique Street Crimes seminar provides top quality training in over 150 cities a year, covering critical law enforcement topics such as Patrol, Gang Crimes, Undercover work, S.W.A.T. Team and Federal Task Forces. Check out the schedule of upcoming Street Crimes seminars.

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