By BOB OLIVER
DEARBORN — An investigation into what appeared to be a driver operating under the influence turned into the capture of an identity theft suspect.
Police officers responded to a report of a man who appeared to be unconscious inside a vehicle that was blocking traffic near Outer Drive and Pelham on June 29.
The driver was identified as Mahdy Mohammad Qasem, 35, of Dearborn Heights. Police arrested Qasem for operating under the influence.
While investigating the incident, police discovered that Qasem was in possession of identification and personal documents belonging to a Darien, Conn., man.
In contacting the Connecticut man, Dearborn police found that he had been a victim of identity theft and had been trying to restore his credit record for five months because of the damage done by the theft.
With this information, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office charged Qasem with eight counts of identity theft. He was arraigned by 19th District Court Judge Mark Somers and bond was set at $100,000 cash.
A preliminary examination of the evidence against him took was scheduled for Friday, but was postponed so Qasem could review the discovery report for the case. It was rescheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 16.
Dearborn police are working with the Darien Police Department and Erie County Sheriff’s Department in Ohio to investigate the matter. The other departments are handling related investigations involving the same victim.
Police Chief Ronald Haddad said that the reporting of this incident quickly to the police was “another example of an alert and involved community enhancing the police’s ability to thwart crime.”
(Bob Oliver can be reached at [email protected])