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Gay man, shunned by family, steals brother's identity, police say

Brotherly love has apparently turned sour between two siblings after police said one of them fraudulently obtained credit cards, established a bank account and bought a new car under the other’s identity.

Glendale police were alerted to the alleged identity theft two weeks ago when an Allen Gwyn Chevrolet employee advised Christopher Higa, 24, to return a new 2012 Chevy Malibu that he purchased using the identity of his 21-year-old brother, Nicholas Higa, according to Glendale police reports. 

Employees at the Brand Boulevard dealership spotted the bogus purchase when they ran a credit report on Nicholas Higa and discovered a fraud alert warning. Christopher Higa also allegedly issued $2,800 in bounced checks in his brother’s name at the dealership. Detectives said he established a Bank of America account in his brother’s name, the Glendale News-Press reported.

Christopher Higa told officers that he wasn’t getting along with his family and hadn’t spoken with them in a year after they allegedly shunned him for being gay, according to police reports.

Christopher Higa told police he used his brother’s identity at Toyota of Glendale to purchase a 2011 Chevy Malibu, which he returned after discovering he could get a better deal on a newer model at the Chevrolet dealership, according to police. He allegedly told Toyota employees that he was unable to make payments because he was unemployed, so they took the car back.

Glendale Police Det. Robert Zaun described it as a “carefully constructed fraud by Christopher Higa, who obviously has no morals or conscience.”

He is charged with six felony counts of identity theft, second-degree commercial burglary, grand theft auto, issuing multiple checks with insufficient funds, and grand theft of personal property for pilfering $950 from Mad Dog Bail Bonds, according to a Los Angeles County Superior Court complaint.

He remains in custody in lieu of $155,000 bail.

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-- Veronica Rocha, Times Community News

 
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