Hoover man arrested for identity theft

47 year old Martin Bruce Harbison of Hoover has been arrested and charged with Theft of Property 1st Degree.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says its Identity Theft Unit had been investigating Harbison since June.{} It was alerted by Wells Fargo about suspicious activity on a business account.{} There were numerous suspicious applications for credit through the business.

During the course of the investigation, investigators learned that Harbison who lived in the Waterford Landing Apartments in Hoover had created a fake company with fraudulent business licenses. He used this company to establish a business account with Wells Fargo Bank to finance purchases for customers. Harbison used a computer at a public library to submit fraudulent credit applications using the identities of elderly persons. There are currently fifteen known victims, four of whom had filed police reports about identity theft with Bessemer and Birmingham Police Departments.{} When the applications were approved the funds were sent to Harbison. No purchases were ever made by the victims.

It is believed that Harbison received over $100,000 from Wells Fargo Bank using this scam.

During the investigation Harbison moved from Hoover to Andalusia, AL. On November 26, 2012 a warrant was issued for his arrest on a charge of Theft of Property 1st Degree with bond set at $100,000.{}

On November 27, 2012 investigators from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and the Covington County Sheriff's Office served a search warrant at Harbison's home in Andalusia. While they were there he drove by, but did not stop.

A look out was issued for Harbison and his vehicle giving a possible destination of his father's residence in Cullman, AL.{} Shortly before 3:00 pm on Tuesday, deputies from the Sheriff's Office Highway Safety Unit found Harbison traveling north on Interstate 65 in Hoover. He was stopped and arrested.

Harbison is currently in the Jefferson County Jail on a charge of Theft of Property 1st Degree with bond set at $100,000. Additional charges of identity theft are expected.

Harbison also may face charges in Wisconsin.{} Foundation Finance in Wisconsin believes it may be a victim of this scam. Deputies have been in contact with investigators from the RothschildWisconsin Police Department and charges could result there as well.