Man involved in identity theft ring arrested after school bus crash, report says

Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 1:10 PM EDT
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A Central Florida man who was arrested following a high-speed crash with a Palm Beach County school bus on Thursday was caught with multiple fake IDs and told investigators he was part of an identity theft ring, according to a newly released arrest report.

David Daniels, 48, of Tavares, is currently at St. Mary's Medical Center after suffering injuries in the wreck at Aero Club Drive and Cedar Bluff Place in Wellington, right next to Wellington Landings Middle School.

According to Daniels' arrest report, he went into a Synovus Bank, located at 1314 Greenview Shores Boulevard in Wellington, around 2 p.m. Thursday and told a teller he wanted to withdraw $3,800 from his account.

Daniels, who was wearing a blue face mask, gave the teller a U.S. passport, identifying himself as a man from Parkland in Broward County.

The teller said the bank account had been flagged with "fraud remarks" for "impersonation," and when Daniels filled out a withdrawal ticket, his signature didn't match the one the bank had on file, the arrest report stated.

The teller went to make copies of the passport, and when Daniels saw him doing so, he quickly left the bank.

According to Daniels's arrest report, the teller alerted the bank manager, who called 911 and followed Daniels outside. The manager said he saw Daniels get into the passenger side of a gold BMW sedan, which then sped out of the parking lot.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said that just minutes later and two miles away, the BMW "traveling at a high rate of speed" rear-ended a school bus that was carrying students from nearby Binks Forest Elementary School.

Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said five students and the driver were on the bus, but none of them needed to be taken to the hospita

The arrest report stated that when a PBSO investigator arrived at the scene, an injured Daniels was laying across the back seat of the BMW. He was then taken to St. Mary's Medical Center with serious injuries.

A second man, 23, was laying on the hood of vehicle and was taken to HCA Florida Palms West Hospital with minor injuries.

A witness to the wreck said he saw two men — the driver and a passenger — run from the BMW. They have not been captured as of Friday.

According to Daniels' arrest report, PBSO investigators found several forms of identification — a passport, two Tennessee driver's licenses, and three credit cards — in the BMW. The passport and driver's licenses each had a different name, but Daniels' picture on all of them.

At St. Mary's Medical Center, investigators said they found two more forged driver's licenses and credit cards on Daniels.

The arrest report stated that Daniels told detectives he was picked up in Atlanta by the other three men in the BMW and provided fake IDs and credit cards.

Daniels said "they were going to banks all over attempting to fraudulently take money out of the accounts of the people that he had false identifications for," according to the arrest report.

The Parkland man whose identity was used by Daniels at the Synovus Bank told investigators he's been the victim of identify theft since June. He claimed crooks have tried taking money out of his account at least five times.

Daniels is facing six counts of forgery of a credit card, four counts of unauthorized possession of a driver's license, grand theft, and criminal use of personal identification information.

According to records, Daniels was "medically unable" to appear in court Friday. However, a judge set his bond at $54,000.

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