All in the family: A strange case of identity theft

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RENO, NV (KOLO) On a recent morning, Alicia Davis took off work, and drove into Reno from her Fernley home to appear in Reno Justice Court.


She was there to answer a charge of driving with expired plates. We were there to offer what we knew about this strange case of stolen identity.

She entered a plea of not guilty, then met with a representative of the district attorney's office. Presented with evidence that she had in fact been at work when the ticket was issued, a photo we took outside the courthouse of the plates on the car she'd arrived in and some background, the deputy D-A dismissed the charges.

Problem solved? For now.

You see, she's been through all this before and has good reason to believe she knows who was actually ticketed for that expired plate. All evidence, past and present, points to her sister Elizabeth.

Elizabeth and Alicia were adopted at a young age by CarrollAnn Adams.

"In some ways they were just really good sisters," says Adams. "But then there were ways that Elizabeth would do things to get Alicia in trouble."

But the potential for real mischief occurred years ago, Alicia and CarrollAnn say, when Elizabeth stole her sister's belongings including personal information which has allowed her steal her identity, apparently including an ID with Elizabeth's picture, but Alicia's name.

Elizabeth apparently used that ID when cited for a hit and run in Nye County nearly two years ago.

Charges were dropped then as well and Elizabeth was eventually booked there, but it still required Alicia making a long drive with a copy of our story and proof she'd been at work hundreds of miles away when the accident happened.

"She's trying to raise two children," says Adams. "She's doing a good job of it, but why should she have to have this extra hassle?"

CarrollAnn says Elizabeth has never shown any remorse.

"She said, 'Well, I had to because I have warrants and I'd be arrested and I can't be arrested.'"

This time it was a lesser charge, risking a $150 fine, but Alicia, a working single mother of two, fears the day when there are more serious warrants waiting for her.

"You get pulled over for a speeding ticket or a seat belt and you end up in jail. That's my biggest fear, ending up in jail for something I didn't do."

She says she hasn't talked with her sister in years. CarrollAnn still sees her occasionally.

"I don't think you could get through to her about this situation. She thinks she's right."

We tried and failed to confront Elizabeth a year and a half ago. After this latest incident we tried again, going to the Fernley home where we'd been told she was staying.

The young man who answered the door said he knew nothing and hadn't seen her in a year. The conversation went like this:

"Hi, I'm looking for Elizabeth Davis?

"I haven't seen her for awhile."

"You haven't seen her for awhile? Does she live here?"

"No, she doesn't."

"She doesn't live here?"


Still, only a few minutes after we left CarrollAnn received an angry phone call from Elizabeth about our visit.

So, we've yet to meet.

This latest incident was the fifth time Alicia has faced charges, traffic violations and a domestic violence incident, for which--all evidence and her own admission--indicates Elizabeth was responsible.

How does she put a stop to it? Well, the district attorney's office says she might have to write letters to all local law enforcement agencies, but they also say she needs to file a criminal complaint. Presenting false identification to an officer is a crime.

We're putting her in touch with the Compliance Enforcement officers at DMV. We'll let you know what happens.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019