Retiree claims ID theft left him with arrest warrants

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on March 1, 2013 at 11:05 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 9 at 8:38 AM

GRAND PRAIRIE –– William Edwards doesn't just walk to stay in shape; the daily ritual has become a necessity.

"Every ticket I ever got I take care of," the 64-year-old explained. Still, the state revoked his driver's license a couple years ago. 

Edwards said someone else is getting traffic tickets and giving his name and date of birth to police. This person even gets cited for failure to present a driver's license, according to court records.

"I don't own a '92 Buick Century," Edwards said, looking at one citation dated from 2009, "and the address of 7717 Leigh Ann Drive - I don't even know who that is or where that's at."

When News 8 went to that address, the occupant said he moved in two years ago and revealed police had been there looking for the previous tenant recently.

Edwards is stuck with not only the fines but also warrants for his arrest. He has 11 outstanding ones right now, according to the online database from Dallas Municipal Courts.

Edwards said he has tried to take care of the mistaken identity. He showed News 8 a complaint he filed with the city of Dallas in 2005 and 2009. At the advice of a court in 2001, he reported to Dallas County that his identity had been stolen.

It has all been only a nuisance until his daughter died in North Carolina last year and he couldn't drive to her.

"I was afraid to take the chance," Edwards said fighting back tears, "because if I would have gotten stopped out there I would have probably gone to jail and gotten towed because these warrants were forever hounding me."

Without identifying who is doing this to Mr. Edwards, an outside legal expert told News 8 there is no easy way to stop it.

"We don't know who's out there doing it so the best he could do is to show someone is continuing to do this and get something from the court showing he's been victimized in this manner," said Dallas defense attorney John Teakell.

A judge or a court clerk might be able to provide a letter he could show the next court if he continues to face this problem in the future, Teakell explained.

The situation started around 2002, Edwards said. Each case usually get dismissed but citations continue to come.

Saturday, more than 250 police and sheriff's departments across the state plan the largest warrant round-up of its kind in Texas. 

And with 11 outstanding warrants in his name, Edwards expects a knock at the door.

The city of Dallas has started a thorough review into Edwards' situation after News 8 began asking questions.

Court staff is researching archives of these cases, said city spokesman Frank Librio, and says it might need Edwards to provide a handwriting sample to compare to the original tickets. The 64-year-old said he is more than happy to oblige.


Do you have a warrant you don't know about? Dallas, Fort Worth and Collin County all let you search their databases to see


E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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