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27 Years Later, Local Man Finally Proves Identity Theft

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Robert Theoudele has been arrested dozens of times over three decades, using a local man's name each time.

Robert Theoudele has been arrested dozens of times over three decades, using a local man’s name each time.

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A former college football player has been arrested after allegedly using the identity of a former teammate, a Sacramento man, for almost 30 years to cover up crimes.

Sacramento resident Gregory Grimes said he had a great run as a hard-hitting cornerback at the University of Washington in the late 1970s and recalled having a good relationship with strong safety Robert Theoudele, even playing in the same defensive backfield at the 1978 Rose Bowl.

“I made a pretty good name for myself,” Grimes said. “We were teammates.”

Grimes later moved to Sacramento with his wife Deborah to begin a career in real estate, but Theoudele remained in the Seattle area and allegedly racked up a lengthy arrest record.

Seattle investigators said Theoudele was arrested on 66 warrants that led to 27 convictions over a 27 year period.

Unknown to both Grimes and Seattle authorities, Theoudele identified himself as Grimes whenever he was arrested.

“He decided to put my name through the mud,” Grimes said. “So he took my name and he began to use it.”

Theoudele allegedly used Grimes’ name for credit applications as well.

Grimes became aware of the problem several years ago when he tried to buy property, and faced the same problems when employers would do background checks.

Grimes eventually volunteered to have his fingerprints taken at the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. They were compared to Theoudele’s, proving the decades-long deception.

Theoudele is still in custody in Seattle and facing multiple identity theft charges.

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