11:34am

Wed August 29, 2012
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Tennessee Forms Unit to Investigate Identify Theft Cases

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Tennessee's Safety Department is creating a new unit to investigate identity theft crimes.

Deputy Commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security Larry Godwin says that the 14-member unit will be made up of personnel from the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the state Office of Homeland Security and the Driver Services division.

Godwin says identity theft and fraud crimes are a growing problem in Tennessee, but many local law enforcement agencies don't have enough resources or manpower to investigate these crimes.

“They receive these theft reports of identity theft, and it’s almost like – between jurisdictional lines and other issues of – they couldn’t take it any farther, it meets the federal threshold, things like that, they reached a dead end.”

Godwin says the new unit will be partnering for the investigations with the U.S. Secret Service in Memphis and Nashville, the federal Homeland Security Investigations department and the FBI's Memphis division.