Man moves into apartment, allegedly steals identity of previous tenant

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Richard Churchill, 35, faces two counts of felony identity theft. (Jackson County Sheriff's Office)

ASHLAND, Ore. (KTVL) - Ashland resident Richard Churchill, 35, is facing felony charges after he allegedly stole the identity of his apartment's previous tenant.

Police said they came into contact with Churchill Wednesday night and arrested him on an outstanding warrant. They then found evidence leading to the identity theft case.

"During a search incident to arrest, the patrol officer discovered a credit card with a woman's name on it," said Cpl. Randy Jewell of the Medford Police Department. "The patrol officer looked into the name and discovered that the person had not opened a credit card with that company."

Upon further investigation, police found the victim used to live in the Ashland apartment where Churchill now resides.

They believe the suspect used a credit card offer that was addressed to the victim to open a credit card in her name.

They said Churchill also tried to open an additional credit card and cash several checks that were addressed to the victim.

According to Jewell, it's more typical for identity theft to occur when mail is taken from unsecured mailboxes.

However, he recommends residents keep their addresses updated in order to help protect their identity.

You can update your information by contacting your local post master or by visiting the U.S. Postal Service's website.

At the time of this posting, Churchill was being held at the Jackson County Jail on $50,000 bail.