Woman living in van pleads guilty to ID theft

A 30-year-old woman found camping in a van in the Mission District in July has pleaded guilty to stealing the identities of more than 10 people, the San Francisco District Attorney's Office said.

On July 1, San Francisco police officers responding to a complaint about people camping in a van in the 400 block of Hampshire Street, found Melissa McDermott inside the van with several counterfeit driver's licenses and documents containing the addresses, social security numbers and credit history of several people, the district attorney's office reported.

cDermott identified herself to police using the name of one of the victims, with a forged driver's license bearing her own photo, according to the district attorney's office.

A search of the van turned up other counterfeit driver's licenses with her own photo attached, and several folders with the other victims' personal information, which was apparently gathered from Internet searches of various databases, the district attorney's office reported.

McDermott is believed to have used the victims' personal information to rent a vehicle and travel out of state.

McDermott pleaded guilty to felony counts of identity theft and possessing more than 10 people's personal information with the intent to defraud, according to the district attorney's office.

Under the terms of the plea deal, she now faces two years and eight months in state prison and will be ordered to pay restitution to the victims, the district attorney's office reported. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 31.

— Bay City News

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