MD fugitive lands himself in FL jail after suspected identity theft crimes

A former Anne Arundel County locksmith who is on the run from Maryland is now behind the bars in a Florida jail.  Joseph Horton, of Pasadena, has spent the last few months locked up in Pinellas County, Florida, where authorities say he landed after traveling the country stealing identities.

It is the latest round of trouble for Horton, who was taken to task by the Maryland Attorney General's office for gouging customers who patronized his locksmith company.  After being forced out of business, court records show Horton made the rounds committing bank fraud.

Documents show Horton pleaded guilty to cases in Baltimore and Harford Counties where he wrote checks with closed accounts and deposited the funds into other accounts.  Horton was scheduled to start serving a one-year sentence in the Harford County case starting in April, but he failed to appear and a warrant was issued.  A warrant was then issued in Anne Arundel County for a violation of probation in a prior case.

As local law enforcement wondered about his whereabouts, Florida authorities say Horton was collecting stolen identities.  A spokeswoman for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office says Horton was arrested there in August.  The agency says Horton opened bank accounts in their area without depositing any cash, and then wrote himself checks from the various accounts.

Sheriff's deputies finally caught up with Horton's actions, they say, when he purchased a new Harley-Davidson, using money pulled from those fraudulent accounts.  The agency says he also financed part of the purchase using his brother's name.  When he was arrested the sheriff's spokeswoman says he was carrying multiple forms of identification that were not his.

Horton faces a hearing in Florida January 15 th.  Once those cases are wrapped up, Horton could face extradition to face charges in his outstanding cases in the Baltimore area. 

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