A local hero is dealing with a frustrating crime. He was recently honored for helping emergency crews with search and rescue efforts after the May 20 tornado, but now he's trying to track down the people who stole his identity and ruined his credit.
"I mean it really consumes your life," said Kinslow. "I am worried about the safety of my kids since they have all my information."
It was just last week that Joe Kinslow received accolades from the Cleveland County Sheriff's office for his help that day. He also received an award. But this humble hero says two months after the tornado he noticed credit card statements showing up in his mailbox for purchases he didn't make.
It all started with a simple trip to the mailbox. Kinslow says he first noticed a problem back in January, when he discovered his mailbox was damaged and that his mail was missing. So he alerted police, the post office and all the credit card companies and credit bureaus.
"I just want to do whatever we got to do to make it stop," said Kinslow.
Not only has it ruined his credit, it may have cost him his job.
"Yeah, I was let go this week," said Kinslow.
Kinslow says he can relate with the people who recently had their checks stolen out of their mailboxes in Norman. And while authorities have arrested Zachary Suter for those mailbox thefts, Kinslow is just hoping the post office or police catch the person or persons responsible for stealing his mail and his sense of security.
News 9 checked with Norman police who tell us they have seen quite a few identity theft cases in the past few years. And Oklahoma City police say with all advances in computer technology recently, it is a lot easier for criminals to commit these sorts of crimes.
There are ways you can protect yourself if it does happen. First contact the police. Then, cancel all your credit cards and bank accounts and contact the credit bureaus. Also, consider switching to paperless billing and auto-pay options to keep thieves from accessing your bills or personal info inside your mailbox.