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Identity theft suspect arrested

November 01, 2003

Jackson Bell

A Sherman Oaks man who attempted to change his identity and the

identity of his 6-year-old son, with the intent of abducting the

child, was arrested before he could carry out his plan, Burbank

Police said this week.

Brian Scott Bennett, 50, was arrested Oct. 22 on suspicion of

felony identity theft after leaving a Burbank business where he spent

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$800 to have a false beard applied and his hair dyed a different

color, Burbank Police Sgt. William Berry said.

Bennett, who was arrested with a large amount of cash, was in the

process of assuming the identity of a man from outside California and

obtaining false passports for him and his son, Berry said.

Bennett, a self-employed musician who intended to move his

residence and business to an unknown location, is involved in a

dispute with his ex-wife over the custody of their child, Berry said.

He is only allowed supervised visits with the boy.

Burbank Police are investigating the identity theft, while Los

Angeles Police and the L.A. Department of Children and Family

Services are handling the alleged child abduction.

Bennett was released after posting $20,000 bail and is scheduled

to be arraigned Nov. 17 in Burbank Superior Court.

Berry said one of the first steps in preventing a kidnapping is to

contact school employees to make sure they don't release children to

anyone who is not an authorized guardian.

In the case of parents battling over custody of children, more

severe actions can be taken if necessary, Berry said.

"[Concerned parents] should get a restraining order to make sure

the other party is restrained from going even near the property where

a child is, like schools," he said. "So if the spouse breaks the

guidelines, that spouse could be arrested."

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