Local soldier is forced to deal with identity theft
By: CJ Cassidy
By: CJ Cassidy
ESSEX, Mo. - How would you feel if someone not only stole your identity, but also crippled your ability to get around? That's exactly what happened to one local soldier, and the crime hits very close to home.
We were the first to tell Private John Azure and his family the good news - the nightmare that kept him from doing something as simple as driving his car is finally over.
It all began while the Private with the 1140th, was away training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. That's when his half brother allegedly stole his identity.
For weeks now, Private Azure has depended on his girlfriend to get around. "I was trying to get my license renewed. I went to the bureau and they said I had a lien against from State of Illinois, in Pulaski County," Azure says.
Turns out John's older brother, Valentino - allegedly misrepresented himself, after Illinois State Police arrested him for driving under the influence. "He got to the police station said he was me, gave them my social security number, I don't even know how he knew my social," Azure says.
Pulaski County State's Attorney Grayson Gile says police finger-printed Valentino, but the county must wait for results from the state crime lab, and that can take weeks.
In the meantime, John was stuck without a license. "I can't drive any vehicles with the military until my license has been given back to me by the State of Illinois," Azure says.
It took John's National Guard superiors sending in paperwork proving he was actually away at training to finally get DUI charges dismissed against him.
But, that left another problem. "They're saying I have to pay a reinstatement fee - $250 fee for something I didn't do if I do that shows I am at fault," Azure says.
Since we began checking into John's claims however, the Illinois Secretary of State has agreed to waive that fee, and Pulaski County's dismissed all other tickets against him. Now John's excited about returning to work and says he has a lot to look forward to. "Not everyone gets to wear this uniform everyday, to put it on feel proud feel like you've done something," John Azure says.