Man accused of identify theft arrested in sting operation

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by Jeff McShan / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on May 20, 2013 at 10:27 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 21 at 6:01 PM

HOUSTON -- A man accused of being a long-time con artist was arrested Monday during a sting operation.

Matt Cook, 27, was ready for a round on the links, rather than a visit to jail, when police took him into custody at a prestigious private country club.

The Houston Police Department said Cook was applying for a membership using someone else’s identity.

“He shows up anticipating to play, and at that point, I’m there playing an undercover role and I introduced myself, and he introduces himself to me using the victim’s name,” said officer Jim Woods.

HPD said the victim’s truck was broken into last month and that Cook stole his golf clubs and a briefcase.

Woods said it could happen to anyone who doesn’t take proper precautions.

“You need to take your stuff out of the car,” Woods said.

Cook was previously arrested in 2012 after allegedly breaking into several hotels and motels in the Galleria area. HPD said he was stealing computers and jewelry out of people’s rooms. Court records show Cook was using a doctored card key to gain access.

On Monday, he showed up to the country club driving a Harley Davidson Ford truck. It turned out to be stolen from a dealership where police said Cook used a fictitious name to take it for a test drive.

“He just drives off and never brings it back,” said Woods.

Cook is scheduled to be in court on June 6 for the hotel and motel thefts. He had been out on bond, but Houston police said, after this arrest, they’re hoping he will be given a no-bond status.

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