Sharp-eyed employees at an Oak Harbor bank helped police catch a man who has allegedly been traveling the country and using phony IDs to steal from unsuspecting residents, according to court records.
Prosecutors charged 58-year-old Jerry Cesaro in Island County Superior Court Feb. 3 with identity theft in the first degree and obstructing a law enforcement officer. Cesaro is identified as a Bronx resident in court papers.
Cesaro pleaded not guilty Monday. A judge has ordered him held on $40,000 bail.
Because of his extensive criminal history, Cesaro could face up to four years and nine months in prison under the standard sentencing range if convicted of the charges, according to court documents.
On Jan. 31, an employee at the Navy Federal Credit Union reported that a man, later identified as Cesaro, presented a fake Virginia ID and tried to withdraw $5,800 from an account. The bank had contacted the real owner of the account, who lived in Virginia and hadn’t authorized anyone to take money from his account, according to a police report.
The employee stalled Cesaro while calling the police. She said bank employees realized the ID was fake because it didn’t have the correct security features; also, the man didn’t know the account number and was one digit off on the Social Security number, the report states.
At the bank, the suspect refused to provide his name, the report states. At the jail, however, Cesaro identified himself and police were able to confirm his identity through fingerprints.
The National Crime Information Center showed 10 aliases associated with his name, the police report states. He has a criminal history in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Utah and California, the report says. Charges against him are pending in Utah for producing a false ID, unlawful acquisition of a financial card and identity fraud; additional charges related to forgery and identity theft are pending in Pennsylvania, the police report states.
“He seems determined to continue to victimize citizens and moves readily about the country,” the officer wrote.