EUGENE, Ore. — A man who stole the identity of dozens of people in Eugene will spend 15 years in prison.
Eugene police say Jeffery Nikkel, 35, got information on his victims by breaking into their cars or going through their trash and recycling.
He then used the information to open fraudulent checking accounts, credit cards and other lines of credit. Police say information on his crimes surfaced last spring.
On Tuesday, Nikkel pleaded guilty to two dozen charges in two different cases.
Police say it’s tough to put a number on the amount of money he stole because it went straight to his methamphetamine addiction. But it’s the victims who felt the impact, like one woman who was planning on buying a house.
“She was very disappointed when she found out her credit was ruined because she was one of Jeff Nikkel’s victims. So in a case like that you can’t say hey here’s the dollar amount lost, but I can tell you this woman’s plans for her life and the plans she had for her life and the plans she had for her daughter’s life were ruined,” said Eugene Police Detective Chris White.
Police say Nikkel was in and out of the Lane County Jail in the past year, under indictment for previous crimes, but he continued to steal identities. Detective White says Nikkel stole tens of thousands of dollars in forged checks alone.