A Hercules man has been charged with identity theft and forgery after walking into a Berkeley bank and pretending to be someone else earlier this month, authorities said.
Randeep Randhawa, 30, reportedly entered the Chase Bank at 2390 Shattuck Ave. on Jan. 6 with a doctored driver’s license and tried to change another man’s account information, according to court papers.
Authorities said Randhawa gave the teller a color photocopy of a California driver license as identification, along with bank account information, and asked that changes, including phone numbers and debit cards, be made to his account.
He also asked that she activate a card he received in the mail, according to a report filed by the Berkeley Police Department.
The teller checked the account and noticed an alert on it to verify the identification.
When she did that, according to the report, she discovered that the man who was trying to access the account was not the true account holder, so she called police.
When police arrived, Randhawa identified himself verbally as the account holder, using the victim’s name. He again provided a copy of the California driver’s license.
Police verified that information as false, and determined that the license was fraudulent, according to authorities. The identification included Randhawa’s picture, but provided the name of the actual account holder.
Randhawa was arrested at about 2:45 p.m. and came clean about his identity to police, according to court papers.
Police said he had in his possession four credit cards in the name of the victim, along with account numbers and personal information for the victim, including a social security number, phone number and address.
Police noted that, at the time of his arrest, Randhawa was out on bail for a June 2013 arrest in Contra Costa County on suspicion of forgery, grand theft, false impersonation and second-degree burglary.
Police listed a second arrest, for which he was also out on bail, in El Cerrito in September on suspicion of forgery.
The Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Randhawa with forgery and identity theft on Jan. 8.
Earlier this week, he was listed as in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin with a bail of $150,000, and set for a pre-trial hearing Jan. 13. As of Jan. 16, he was listed as still in custody, having been sentenced with no future hearings posted, according to the Alameda County sheriff’s department.
According to blotter reports posted via the Hercules Police Department website, a Randeep Randhawa with the same birthday as the man arrested in Berkeley was arrested twice in February 2011 after allegedly threatening to hurt his family members.
On Feb. 15, 2011, police wrote that Randhawa’s mother reported he had assaulted her in January and threatened to kill her, along with his wife. Police wrote that he also “threw a television on the floor near his 16 month old daughter,” then stole his grandfather’s car. He was later arrested on suspicion of criminal threats, child endangerment, auto theft and battery.
Three days later, on Feb. 18, police noted a second call involving Randhawa. Police wrote that Randhawa’s brother made a report that Randeep had entered the family’s Hercules home, having just been released from jail, then “grabbed several kitchen knives, threatening his brother with them.”
One family member was cut while trying to take the knives away, according to police.
Officers responded and found Randhawa, who was leaving the home on foot. He was arrested on suspicion of violating a restraining order, and was taken to Contra Costa County Jail.
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