News & Resources

Police dumbfounded by female prisoner's identity theft

Oct 28, 2011 Karen Umpierre

Shelley Bridges - a 37 year-old Indianola, Iowa, woman - was recently arrested and charged with the identity theft of several prison volunteers, KCRG-TV reports. The news source notes that as a result of Bridges' actions, volunteers received credit cards in the mail they never signed up for, and charges were made to their bank accounts that they never authorized. KCCI-TV reports that Bridges, a former inmate at the West Des Moines Iowa Correctional Institution for Woman (ICIW) in Mitchellville, had no obvious point of access to the victims' personal information. Consequently, the method she used to obtain the documents remains a mystery. According to prison spokesman Fred Scaletta, volunteers must sign in with their names, reason for visiting the prison and a description of their vehicles. Nowhere on ICIW's sign-in form are they asked to write their Social Security numbers. The only time such information is given out is during routine background checks as part of volunteer applications. The documents are then placed in a locked business office inaccessible to inmates. However, Bridges allegedly stole the identities of at least 40 volunteers despite these safeguards, and police are currently working to determine how this was done.