A Schoharie County man has been arrested on identity theft charges, accused of stealing the identities of nearly 60 people to book hotel rooms, Colonie police said today.
In each case, police said, the man used the Internet to obtain enough information about people who had recently died. The 58 total identities represented people from 19 states.
Cecil H. Savage, 32, of 108 Tetter Bark Road, Fultonham, was arrested Monday on charges of first-degree identity theft, third-degree grand larceny and first-degree scheme to defraud, all felonies.
He is accused of booking the hotel rooms from July 2008 on, using 30 of the identities in Colonie and the remaining 28 in Albany.
Savage allegedly booked the rooms through online site Expedia, using a Bill Me Later function. Bill Me Later lost more than $3,600 in the scheme, while Expedia lost just under $700, according to police.
The police investigation also revealed 73 other attempts to reserve hotel rooms in Colonie and Albany.
The arrest was the result of a six-month investigation.
Savage was finally identified when he used his real name to book a room, police said. But the investigation was lengthened by the need to get proper documentation from victims’ relatives and estates.
Savage was arrested Tuesday. He is to appear in town court this evening. He is currently lodged in the Albany County Jail.
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