NORFOLK, Va. - A man is accused of stealing a person’s identity, ordering new iPhones, then waiting near the victim’s house to intercept the packages from FedEx, according to court records.
Unfortunately, identities get stolen frequently but this case is unusual and Norfolk Police praise the actions of FedEx for their help in making an arrest.
Norfolk officers were knocking at 17-year-old Jean Gonzales' home recently asking about iPhones that were purchased with his dad’s personal information.
Gonzales is one of four boys in the family and said his family definitely didn’t buy new phones.
“We're on a tight budget so we can't afford to have two brand-new iPhones being paid under our names,” said Gonzales.
Court records indicate that police were called by a FedEx supervisor in early March who said a man kept stopping a FedEx driver asking for packages not addressed to him.
Through an investigation police tracked down 31-year-old Darrell Clark. He was arrested on the victim’s block for identify theft charges and records state he a suspect in a similar case.
“I was genuinely upset. This was unfair. I don't want anyone else to have this happen to them too so I called friends and relatives in this area,” said Gonzales.
A call also went to his girlfriend, Raven Campbell who said a week later her dad experienced a similar situation but this case the suspect is a woman and she hasn’t been caught.
“I just think it's very not okay,” said Campbell.
“I was pretty shocked and then to find out that my own girlfriend had it happened to her is so crazy,” said Gonzales, “I’m just afraid there's more people out there like them.”
Police said Clark was charged with one count each: attempt to obtain money by false pretenses, and identity theft.
We reached out to FedEx and they would not comment on the police investigation, but issued a statement and safety tips.
“While we do our utmost to ensure the safe and secure delivery of every package, there are steps our customers can take for added peace of mind,” said Chris Allen, FedEx Media Relations.
FedEx provided us with numerous package safety tips for customers shipping/receiving packages:
- Consider an alternate destination. When you order something online, consider sending the package to your workplace or to a family member, friend or neighbor who is home during the day to accept delivery.
- Send it to your nearest FedEx Office location. You can have your deliveries sent to the nearest FedEx Office location, and we’ll hold it for you for up to five business days. FedEx provides this service at no added cost. If it’s a FedEx Express package, you can also have your package sent to one of our FedEx Express stations. Find the location nearest you at fedex.com/locate.
- Request a signature. Many packages today are sent without requiring a signature for delivery. If you’re shipping something of high value — or you just want to be sure items aren’t left unattended — you can require a signature for packages to be released. Only the shipper can make this request.
- Sign up for FedEx Delivery Manager, which gives customers more power to customize home deliveries to fit their schedules. Sign up is free at fedex.com/delivery.
- With FedEx Delivery Manager, a customer has the following options:
- Request to hold your delivery for pickup at a FedEx location.
- Request special delivery instructions for the delivery driver such as leaving your package at the back door or a side door.
- Reschedule your delivery time.
- Request to reroute your package to deliver to another address.
- Sign for a package remotely.
- Request a vacation hold. Taking a holiday trip to visit family or friends? You can request a vacation hold on all shipments for up to 14 days.
- Receive a delivery notification.