ID theft victim learns of arrest warrant listing her name as an alias

WEST MICHIGAN -- Identity theft is a living nightmare for Heather Kanig. She said it started in the summer of 2014 when someone broke into her car and stole her wallet.

"So I had my Social Security card and my driver's license in my wallet like people shouldn't do," Kanig said.

She said red flags surfaced in fall 2015 when she got a letter from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services asking Kanig to verify her employment at a company in Grand Rapids. It came as a surprise to her. She called the company.

"They told me that there is somebody named Heather Kanig with my social security number working there for three weeks, third shift," she recalled.

Kanig said she "never worked at that company, never heard of that company, [and] wasn't getting assistance from the state."

So Kanig went to police and said authorities eventually arrested a suspect in December 2015.

"Her name was Roberta Gomez-Meneses... was the name given," Kanig said.

"She got brought in. She had a translator. Her family was with her," Kanig recalled the arraignment.

The detective let Kanig know they had the suspect's fake ID and debit card in police evidence. According to court records, the judge gave the suspect a thousand dollar personal recognizance bond.

"And then I get a letter last week from IRS, suing me for $2,000 in taxes I didn't pay," she said.

Kanig said much of it is tied to income earned from the same company where the suspect allegedly used Kanig's identity. But it gets worse. To try and clear this up with the IRS, Kanig said she went to the courthouse last week to retrieve files on the ID theft case. That's when she learned there's an arrest warrant out for the suspect with Kanig's name listed as alias.

She said, "I'm scared to go down to the police station [because] am I going to get arrested to prove I'm myself? I'm just really upset how this whole situation happened. Like, why did't they get proof of her ID before they let her off on a PR bond."

Kanig said, "I'm blown away about how the whole thing was handled, and she got off running and I'm worried about my name. I'm worried about going to jail to prove I'm me."

FOX 17 spoke with Wyoming and Grand Rapids Police. Both say Kanig has nothing to worry about. Grand Rapids said Roberta Gomez-Meneses is the suspect and Heather Kanig only shows up as an alias. Kanig said she still wants something done to stop Gomez-Meneses from doing any further damage to her or anyone else.

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