With identity theft the biggest crime currently facing Bloomfield Township, police captain Phil Langmeyer informed the board of trustees at their meeting on Monday, January 22, that the police department has been invited to join other area departments in assigning a full-time officer to the FBI’s Identity Theft Task force.
“Since 2013, we have seen a 178.9 percent increase in this crime,” Langmeyer told trustees. “We had 483 cases last year, and it’s scaling upwards. One in 16 households had some kind of identity theft in 2016. We’ve done the best we can. We currently have two detectives solely assigned to identity theft and fraud cases, but it’s very difficult because thieves cross state lines, they can be off-shore. When they’re done, they move on to the next victim.”
He said that the Troy FBI office is expanding its Identity Theft Task force, which will be a multi-jurisdictional task force comprising the FBI, Michigan State Police, Birmingham Police Department, Auburn Hills Police Department, U.S. Postal Service, and is supported by both the Michigan and U.S. Attorney Generals.
“The Bloomfield Township Police Department should join this partnership. According to the FBI, a majority of the cases begin at the local level. If we catch you, you might get two years. Federal law gives you much greater sentences,” Langmeyer said. “We’ve just not had the resources to really combat this, and this task force will help with that.
He said the officer assigned would work out of the Troy FBI office. “The person, detective (James) Moschel, will be dedicated to this team. We’re not taking an officer off the streets, and he’ll work a lot of local cases.”
Langmeyer pointed out there will be no extra cost to the township to join the FBI task force.