Identity theft victim out to stop career criminal

Victim Brien Morris tracked down suspect with private investigator

Author: Katrina Webber, Reporter, kwebber@ksat.com
Published On: Feb 07 2013 03:06:55 PM CST   Updated On: Apr 23 2013 08:21:17 AM CDT
William Stuart mug shot from February 2013 arrest
SAN ANTONIO -

Identity theft victim Brien Morris said he wants to end the illegal career of William Stuart, 30, the man accused of racking up thousands of dollars’ worth of loans and bills in his name.

Stuart was arrested Wednesday on a charge of fraudulent use of identifying information, and tampering with a government document.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Stuart is accused of using someone else’s identity last September to obtain $6,000 worth of loans from Security Service bank and the Sun Loan Company.

Morris said he is that person.

He said he went to San Antonio police for help last November after realizing someone had stolen his identity.

"I got a bill from a furniture store for $1,500 and I thought to myself, 'I would've remembered buying $1,500 worth of furniture,” Morris said, explaining what first tipped him off to the situation.

Soon, he said, he began receiving phone calls from other businesses and banks, telling him he owed money. Morris said one bill collector even called his mother.

“It was more frustrating than anything else,” he said. "I didn't want to damage all the hard work and all the stuff that I've been through to get to where I'm at.”

Morris said with little hope offered by police, he turned to a friend who also happens to be a licensed private investigator.

Deborah Coley said they set out to solve the credit caper on their own, with Morris staking out an address they’d obtained for Stuart.

"It was a puzzle and we had to put all the pieces together,” Coley said. “It unraveled fairly quickly. I'd say within three days, we had a lot of information."

The duo eventually turned over their findings to police detectives, who arrested Stuart.

But they worry that might not mean any end to other people’s troubles.

Records show Stuart has a lengthy criminal history that dates back at least five years and includes similar crimes committed in San Antonio and the Dallas area.

In fact, Stuart was placed on probation last November for doing the same thing he’s accused of now.

Morris said he wants him stopped.

"Hopefully these will be able to stick and he'll actually serve some time,” he said.

Coley agreed, saying, “"People like that need to be stopped. It ruins people's lives. It affects their credit. It's a lot of work to get it off of your credit report."