This is a case that is damned annoying, well, to me -
I'll copy part of the article here, but it's well worth reading it all.
How victim snared ID thief
She chased down woman who had given her 6 months of hell
Mike Weiss, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, June 15, 2007
(paragraphs mine after cutting and pasting/osso)
If it hadn't been for the distinctive suede coat, there would have been no chase through the streets of San Francisco, no heroine and, in all likelihood, no justice. But when Karen Lodrick turned away from ordering her latte at the Starbucks at Church and Market streets, there it was, slung over the arm of the woman behind her.
It was, Lodrick thought, a "beaucoup expensive" light-brown suede coat with faux fur trim at the collar, cuffs and down the middle.
The only other time Lodrick, a 41-year-old creative consultant, had seen that particular coat was on a security camera photo that her bank, Wells Fargo, showed her of the woman who had stolen her identity. The photo was taken as the thief was looting Lodrick's checking account.
Now, here was the coat again. This woman -- a big woman, about 5 feet 10, maybe 150 pounds -- had to be the person who had put her through six months of hell and cost her $30,000 in lost business as she tried to untangle the never-ending mess with banks and credit agencies.
According to Javelin Strategy and Research, a Pleasanton firm that conducts an annual identity fraud survey, there were 8.4 million victims of identity fraud in 2006. But both a spokesman from Javelin and an agent who tracks identity theft for the Federal Trade Commission said they had never heard a story like Lodrick's. One irony, and there were many -- for instance, the woman posing as Karen Lodrick also had ordered a latte -- was that Lodrick was waiting at Starbucks on the morning of April 24 for the bank next door to open so she could pick up "her" driver's license. The bank had called to say it had been left there, but Lodrick had never been in that branch.
Lodrick's heart was pounding. Despite the expensive coat, the Prada bag, the glitter-frame Gucci glasses, there was something not right about the impostor she would later learn was named Maria Nelson.
"She had bad teeth and looked like she hadn't bathed," the onetime standup comic recalled recently. "I thought, 'You're buying Prada on my dime. Go get your teeth fixed.' "
When Nelson got up to leave, Lodrick, who is 5 feet 2 and 110 pounds but comes from what she calls "a fighting family," made an instant decision. First she called 911. Then she followed Nelson down Market Street.
The foot chase was on.
end of clip.