Police: men buy names from homeless to get cell phones

Published On: Feb 25 2014 01:03:53 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 25 2014 05:30:11 PM CST

Wichita police arrest two people who they say were buying personal information from homeless people.

Police say the suspects would pay a homeless person for their name and information, then go out and get a cell phone contract in that person's name.

"What they were doing with these cell phones we don't know," said Wichita Police Lieutenant Doug Nolte. "They had several of them, that's part of the investigation."

Agencies that work with homeless fell they are often victims of crimes because of how vulnerable they are on the streets, and many times they don't report the crimes.

"I have been to the hospital this year visiting the homeless people that have been assaulted and beaten down by the river," said Mosaic Wichita Pastor Mike Furches. "The homeless to us and to others in the community, they are not statistics. They are real people with real names, with real feelings."

Investigators are also trying to determine if the suspects were doing the same thing in other cities. They do not know how long the suspects were in Wichita. 

Wichita police arrested the suspect near Pueblo and Dugan Monday evening. Inside their vehicle police say the men had drugs and information including possibly fraudulent cell phone contracts. 

The suspects were booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on suspicion of identity theft and other charges.