INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- Detectives with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) are investigating an unusual case of identity theft. Police say dozens of stolen IDs, credit cards and other documents were found at a Burger King on West Washington Street.
For some of the victims the case began after their cars were stolen. One woman says her car was stolen last month when she ran inside to use the ATM at a gas station on West 16th Street .
“I wasn’t even in there two minutes and came out and my car was gone,” said Charlene Rice.
Rice says police were able to track down her stolen car in just 15 minutes, but the thief snatched her phone, wallet, drivers license, social security card, banks cards and much more right out of her glove box.
“It’s like your whole world got taken because everything was right there,” said Rice.
Rice spent a month trying to recover her identity, but this week an employee at Burger King found her personal documents, along with those of at least half dozen people including a second car theft victim, inside the restaurant’s bathroom.
“It’s just a hassle because you’ve got to replace everything,” said Rice.
“Yeah it really is a big hassle. You want to have records on who to call and you want to do that quickly,” said Tim Maniscalo with the Better Business Bureau.
Maniscalo say when someone has their personal information stolen, the best first step is to freeze their credit and contact their banks to minimize any financial damage.
“What happens is nobody can get in and see your credit report and that will prevent anybody from opening a loan or anything using your credit,” said Maniscalo. “You can really rack up a lot of bills so to speak that you aren’t wanting to pay, so you want to minimize that as much as you can.”
For her part, Rice has a message for whoever stole her personal information.
“These people out here that are doing this stuff, you ruin people’s life doing this stuff. You can make life very hard just because you want the easy way,” said Rice.
Police say it's not clear why the documents were left behind at the Burger King, but no arrests have been made.
Experts say there's a new victim of identity theft every two second in America. The crime affects millions of people every year.