For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: September 9, 2004

Boise Man Ordered To Pay Restitution for Grand Theft

(Boise) - Travis L. Vansickle was ordered to pay $963.13 in restitution for one felony count of grand theft, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. Vansickle was earlier sentenced by Fourth District Judge Michael Wetherell on June 24, 2004 to ten years probation.

Vansickle, 36, of Boise pled guilty to one count of falsely obtaining credit card account transaction numbers from his employer and subsequently ordered merchandise via the Internet.

Vansickle, a clerk working in a Boise retail business, illegally copied customer names, addresses, credit card numbers and the expiration date of the credit cards of nine customers of his former employer. Vansickle then used one credit card number to purchase $936.13 in bicycle parts via the Internet. He had the other eight customer's credit card information in his possession when he was arrested on April 22, 2003.

The Special Prosecutions Unit of the Attorney General's Criminal Law Division prosecuted the case at the request of Ada County Prosecuting Attorney Greg Bower. Deputy Attorney General J. Scott James prosecuted the case.

"This case is an example that identity theft is happening in Idaho and we must be diligent in our efforts to guard against it," Attorney General Wasden said. "I encourage all Idahoans to use precaution to safeguard against identity theft."

Wasden offered the following tips to avoid identity theft:

  • Review your monthly credit card and bank statements thoroughly and question any item that appears inaccurate.
  • Check your credit reports once a year.
  • Tear up or shred pre-approved credit card or loan offers before throwing them away.
  • Tear up or shred old bank and credit card statements, cancelled checks and other financial documents before disposal.
  • If your bank or credit card statements do not arrive on time, call the issuer to make sure they are being sent to the proper address. A thief may steal or divert your statements in order to hide illegal credit activity.
  • If you have several credit or debit cards, consider enrolling in a credit card registry service that will notify all of your creditors after one call from you.
  • If you receive a credit card in the mail that you did not request, call the issuer to find out why it was sent to you. If someone else requested it in your name, cancel it immediately and follow the steps outlined below.
  • Do not carry your Social Security card with you unless it is needed for a job application.
  • The Social Security Administration will send you a copy of your Earnings and Benefits Summary once a year. Review it carefully and check it for accuracy. If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, order a copy by contacting the Social Security Administration directly.
  • When you create passwords for ATM cards, long distance accounts, or other forms of credit, do not use numbers others can associate with you such as your birthdate or part of your social security number or telephone number. Avoid using words, such as your mother's maiden name or your birthplace, that are likely to appear in public records accessible to thieves.

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