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By Anthony Del Broccolo

I was walking to my car one morning when I spotted a UPS van pulling up to my apartment. I ran back to greet the driver…

"Hey, I live in 1701. I'm Anthony Del Broccolo." The driver looked me directly in the eye and said, "No, you're not."

Well, that's curious, I thought to myself as I showed him my driver's license. I even opened my front door to prove that I indeed lived in 1701. The driver grew pale. He then confessed that he'd been delivering packages all week to someone else claiming to be Anthony Del Broccolo. The Fake Anthony even had a fake driver's license for identification.

My first thought was, Great. My identity's been stolen. My second thought was, Why would anyone want it?! It's not like it was doing me any good. Slightly confused, I opened the package from UPS to find an American Express card imprinted with a name I had never seen before: Matthew C.. Balabbo.

Oh my god, I thought, that's a really funny name. After repeating "Balabbo" many times for my own amusement, I called American Express.

As it turned out, Mr. Balabbo had called one week earlier to add his name to my account as a secondary cardholder. He was able to do so by verifying a disturbing amount of personal data, including my social security number.

Officially panicked, I asked the American Express people just how much Balabbs had charged on my credit. The answer was $13,000.


I drove down to the local police station, shaking with anger. An officer determined that, since the card was actually delivered to my address, Balabbo was able to steal my identity by stealing my mail. And stolen mail, he added, was something that fell under the jurisdiction of "The Postal Police."

What?! There's a Postal Police? Really?! I now knew what I had to do next: Create a TV series about The Postal Police! Starring Brian Dennehy. As Sgt. "Stamps" McGee.

I returned home and called the Postal Police, and was shocked when no one answered. I was even more shocked when no one answered the next twenty times I called.

Oh, sorry to bother you, Postal Police. You're obviously very busy trying to take down that Paper Boy in Sherman Oaks who's been stealing all the Victoria's Secret Catalogs from people's mailboxes.

I went to bed that night feeling helpless, violated, and confused. What else was this guy Balabbo planning to do? Was there anything I could do to stop him? Do the Postal Police, like, carry handcuffs?!

I didn't have to wait long for my answers. The next morning, the UPS guy knocked on my door with three more packages addressed to me, but obviously intended for Balabbo.

And that's when it hit me. This guy wasn't just stealing my identity, he was doing it right under my nose. The balls on this Balabbo!

I doubt the UPS guy even noticed, but at that moment I changed. I went from a mild-mannered, pasty-faced childrens' television writer, to an angry, pasty-faced vigilante. I now had one mission in life -- to take Balabbo down. And I was prepared to do anything to get my man… even if it meant breaking a few rules… and growing a beard.

I started my investigation by asking the UPS guy for a detailed description of the perp. Balabbo was approximately five foot nine, with short brown hair.

"Oh, so he looks like me?"

"No, sir," the UPS guy replied, "he's athletic looking."

What the fuck?! My pride may have been wounded, but I knew I had gathered some valuable info.

I wanted to start hunting down Balabbo immediately, but I needed to go to my stupid day job. I mean, how was I supposed to be a vigilante when I had to spend the next 10 hours writing comedy for tweens?!

Also, there was the annoying matter of calling all those merchants to undo the damage caused by the identity theft. Here's just a small sample of what Balabbo had done using my information:

  • He applied for eight different credit cards.
  • Rented a black, Ford F150 truck.
  • Purchased three computers online.
  • Ordered more than 200 Dodger tickets.
  • He even had the Post Office hold my mail so that I wouldn't see the trail he was leaving behind.

And if all that wasn't scary enough, I opened one of the UPS packages to find 700 Euros. Now he was ordering foreign currency.

Jesus. What had the fake me gotten my fake self into? Was I an unwitting pawn in some complicated global conspiracy? Was Keifer Sutherland about to bust down my door and bring me into Counter Terrorist Unit?

Suddenly fearing for my own safety, I contacted the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office. Agent Conroy assured me that I probably wasn't in any danger. "Probably" was probably not the word I wanted to hear just then. I could probably think of several better words to use in that instance, like, oh... I don't know... DEFINITELY? He also said there was nothing the FBI could do, as it's their policy not to pursue these cases unless the personal loss exceeds $500,000.

I hung up the phone scared, but even more frustrated that no one wanted to help me. And then I remembered:

Hey, you're a vigilante. You prefer to work alone.

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