A police officer for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Comm-unity is under investigation on suspicion of identity theft. Michael Spatola, 30, has been on unpaid administrative leave since he was arrested Dec. 31 on suspicion of domestic violence, Scottsdale police said Monday. Spatola's ex-wife accused him of stealing checkbooks and credit cards at real estate open houses and then using them, according to a Scottsdale police report. A Scottsdale officer looking for Spatola's gun and badge at the time of his arrest found a checkbook and identification for a Gary W. Knight in Spatola's truck, the report said. The photograph on the identification was said to be of Spatola. This is the second time in two years Spatola has been the subject of an identity theft investigation, police said. In January 2000, he was suspected of stealing three credit cards from employees at Costco, where he also worked for about two months. Police said the stolen cards were used at gas stations and grocery stores. The investigation was dropped in June when the card's owner, who had moved, could not be found, Scottsdale police said. Spatola was hired by the Salt River Police Department in June 2000. The department is conducting an internal administrative investigation, said Lt. Kim Pound.
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