By Jay Meisel
STUART - When a man entered a Chase Bank and attempted to withdraw $4,500 from an account, there was only problem, authorities said last week.
The man was black and weighed about 250 pounds, while the true account holder is white and weighs about 170 pounds.
As a result of that discovery, Stuart Police arrested Robert Richard Appling Jr., 42, 1626 North Wilcox, Unit 918, Hollywood, Calif., and charged him with uttering a forged instrument, attempted grand theft, criminal use of personal identification information, credit card fraud, resisting an officer without violence and giving a false name to a law enforcement officer.
An arrest affidavit said the arrest occurred after Chase Bank employees at the branch on Federal Highway determined the man attempting to withdraw the money was not the account holder.
Police arrived and received a driver license and credit card provided by the man, who said his name was Darryl Straws, from a bank employee.
However, a check showed while the driver license had his photo, the real driver's license for Darryl Straws had a photo of another person, the real Mr. Straws, the arrest affidavit said.
The investigation also showed the credit card was not valid, the affidavit said.
When police said they were going to arrest Mr. Appling, he ran to Monterey Road, through an apartment complex and then climbed over a fence before police nabbed him, Mike Pope, public information officer, said in a press release.
The arrest affidavit said Mr. Appling has been arrested numerous times on similar charges in various states including, California, Texas, Michigan and New York.
In the press release, Office Pope advised people to guard against identity theft by taking precautions, including:
. Keep personal information in a secure place.
. Don't carry your Social Security card in your wallet or purse.
. Don't give out personal information on the telephone or in response to emails unless you know to whom you are giving the information.
. Check your credit score regularly to make sure no accounts have been opened in your name without your knowledge.
Further information is available at the Federal Trade Commission's website, www.ftc.gov and the Florida Attorney General's website www.myfloridalegal.com/identitytheft.