ACCUSED IDENTITY THEFT SUSPECT TAUNTS AUTHORITIES

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a man accused of identity theft who claims he’s too smart to be captured.

Deputies say he’s a former customer service representative for a tax software company, and that the Sheriff’s Office received an email from a victim in another state that indicated he’d gotten direct threats of identity theft from a man who lived in Jefferson County.

The Sheriff’s Office said the victim included copies of talks between himself and the suspect. The victim said he’d contacted customer service for a large tax preparation software company in an effort to resolve an issue with his tax returns.

The victim said the representative he spoke with was rude, and said he voiced his offense at the representative’s behavior then ended the call. The next day, the victim said he received an email from the representative, who berated him and indicated that he should show proper respect “especially when it concerns an issue as vital as your identity.”

The victim said he considered the email to be threatening, and contacted the company directly, who said the representative worked for a contractor and would be fired. The next day, the victim said he got another email from the suspect, which said the suspect only used his customer service position commit identity theft.

Sheriff’s investigators said they located the suspect, and found that he too had been an identity theft victim. The man who claimed to be the representative while corresponding with the initial victim had stolen the representative’s identity to work at the tax service.

Detectives said they have learned the identity of the suspect is Tony Michael Canterberry, 32, of Birmingham. The Sheriff’s Department contacted Canterberry by email and asked that he call or come in and talk about the case, but Canterberry refused, and instead commented that he’s so smart he won’t be caught.

The Sheriff’s Department said four felony arrest warrants have been issued for Canterberry’s arrest, all for identity theft. He has a history of criminal charges, including illegal possession of a credit card, burglary and theft. He remains at large.

Anyone with information about Canterberry’s location is asked to call the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at 205-325-1450 or Jefferson County Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777.

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