Former Classmates Identify Alleged Identity Thief

A suspect allegedly involved in a string of identity thefts around the state and in East Texas has been identified. Authorities say the man goes by at least 20 different aliases. But some former classmates have come forward and identified him as Michael Shane Haskins.

Police arrested Haskins in Flint on Friday, after they say he attempted an armed robbery in the Pine Trail Shores subdivision. Police say they seized a loaded pistol and methamphetamine from Haskins' truck.

Former classmates say 34-year-old Haskins attended Carlisle High School two decades ago. Their class was small - with only 24 students - and one of them was Cherokee County Sheriff's Deputy Anna Outenreath.

"I'm hurt by it because I had to step forward, but I don't think I had a choice in the matter," Outenreath said, as she walked through an area in the woods where she and her classmates, including Haskins, used to hang out.

Outenreath says Haskins was an OK student, but he enjoyed playing sports. She said, "He was just a great guy growing up. He was very friendly, he was very popular. Everybody liked him."

Authorities say yesterday they found a stolen trailer in Henderson County, where they say Haskins made his fake I.D.'s, using computer equipment, check printing materials, and laminating supplies. Police say Haskins broke into dozens or even hundreds of homes and mailboxes to steal people's personal information.

Precinct 2 Constable Frank Creath said it "was an elaborate setup to reproduce checks, identification cards, driver's licenses, social security numbers."

Authorities say Haskins remains in Smith County Jail without bond. Police say he faces drugs and weapon charges, and a parole violation on a previous crime. Police say he also faces more felony charges related to burglary, mail thefts, and making false I.D.'s.

Police ask anyone with information about Haskins to call Crimestoppers at 903-597-CUFF.

Julie Tam, reporting.