The Investigators

Aug 12, 2013 5:58 AM by Tom McNamara

Tucson couple lose water service due to possible ID theft

TUCSON - A follow-up to a News 4 Tucson Investigators report from a few nights ago.

We profiled a disabled Tucson man and his wife, who were struggling and sweltering after having their water shut off by Tucson Water.

Jesus Martinez lost his water service last Tuesday.

Tucson Water says he owes $230.00 on an old bill from a different address.

Martinez says he never lived at that address, and thinks he may be the victim of identity theft.

Martinez and his wife, Lupe, have a lot of daily struggles, with or without water service.

He's a shooting victim who is disabled, and he takes 28 pills every day. He also takes four rounds of insulin shots.

So they relied on neighbors to help with bottles of water for their needs.

"It's not been easy, it's been hard, here sweating, got the fan going. I'm disabled, handicapped, it's hard for me," Martinez says.

Tucson Water shut off their service after notifying them weeks ago about a six year-old unpaid bill in Jesus' name.

But the couple says they never lived at the address for that bill, and neither did their friends or relatives.

Martinez recently filed a police report with TPD, fearing he's a possible victim of identity theft.

The News 4 Tucson Investigators contacted Tucson water the day we met Martinez, and they immediately launched an investigation into his situation.

For now, Tucson Water will schedule an administrative hearing to determine who owes the money on that unpaid bill.

In the meantime, following our investigation, crews came out on Friday, and turned the water back on, so Martinez family can bathe, do dishes, and use their swamp cooler.

"Because, you guys made it happen. Putting pressure, which, you know, I'm very thankful for. You guys did it all. Without you, we wouldn't have done it. We'd still be suffering," Martinez says.

The News 4 Tucson Investigators will be closely following developments in this story, and let you know what happens.

If you have something you would like us to investigate - email the News 4 Tucson Investigators at investigators@kvoa.com

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