Articles Posted in Theft Crimes

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While the North Bay fires continue to burn, a man was arrested for allegedly stealing from a car in an evacuation zone. Upon investigation police also discovered other items believed to be stolen such as pharmaceuticals, sunglasses and a fire department’s emergency fire shelter kit marked “SMFD.”

Sgt. Spencer Crum of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call regarding a fight on Thursday. When speaking to Crum the person who reported the confrontation claimed to overhear the alleged perpetrator telling a neighbor that he only stole a pair of glasses, and then he proceeded to ride away from the altercation on his bicycle.

Deputies contacted 30-year-old Morgan Plumere, the suspected culprit in the lootings. They found him holding a prescription pill bottle with a woman’s name on the label, insulin, unused syringes, an unknown white substance in a bag and an emergency fire kit. They also discovered a portable radio suspected of being stolen from La Prenda Vineyards on October 5.

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Scott Radtke, owner of California Motoring Company in Clovis, CA works as a broker by matching interested buyers with sellers of automobiles. Court documents allege Radtke conned at least $2.8 million from 17 car dealerships, 11 financial institutions and 48 customers through fraudulent car sales transactions.

Beginning in September 2016 the Department of Motor Vehicles started receiving several complaints from Radtke’s customers who had purchased cars and never received titles or registration, and car dealerships that never received money for sales. DMV issued a statement that they have a zero tolerance policy for business conducted in this manner and they opened an investigation.

Radtke is suspected of employing several methods of stealing money from clients, many of whom were reported as elderly. Some of the accusations include scamming customers who had purchased vehicles for which he accepted payment. He then forged their names on fraudulent loan applications or payment plans from lenders for thousands of dollars over the amount of the initial transactions, which would force them by contract to foot the bill for their purchased vehicle a second time. Another alleged ploy took the form of accepting and selling trade-in vehicles without giving customers the money he had acquired from the sales.

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Louisville resident Kingsley I. Ekpendu has been accused of targeting elderly people using a hoax consisting of telling them they had won cash prizes in a sweepstakes. He allegedly extorted money from the assumed winners after sending them counterfeit checks to deposit into their bank accounts. He then asked that they overnight money to a specified address. It is suspected that he was able to con hundreds of thousands of dollars from people in this manner.

Police stated that between September 2 and October 4 Ekpendu allegedly mailed letters to three or more addresses announcing they were winners of the Publishers Clearing House Super Cash Giveaway. The letters held fraudulent checks for amounts between $6,000 and $8,000, and instructions to deposit the check and overnight mail an amount ranging from $5,200 to $7,000 in order to claim their winnings.

Law enforcement received information from a local shipping company who became suspicious of the number and size of the packages being delivered to an address that appeared to be a vacant dwelling. Ekpendu received the first two of the three packages, and police intervened before he was able to get the third.

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36-year-old Jessica Godoy Ramos has been accused of posing as an immigration attorney and representing several immigrants seeking legal citizenship status, charging thousands of dollars for services she never provided. Ramos allegedly assumed the identity of a New York lawyer with a similar name and stole her bar license number allowing her to work undetected for several years.

A criminal complaint against Ramos claims her clients believed she was a legitimate lawyer until many of them showed up for appointments at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that were never scheduled. Though Ramos filed immigration petitions in some cases, it is alleged that she performed no tasks for some of the clients she billed. In addition, she allegedly issued counterfeit immigration parole documents with which a client was able to enter the U.S.

In February Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) received information from the USCIS concerning five individuals represented by Ramos who tried to pick up green cards that did not exist, resulting in the decision to open an investigation.

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In August a Palos Verdes Estates man planning a vacation sought dog walking services through a service called Care.com, a site matching caregivers with potential clients in need, and selected Nephi Henderson of Hermosa Beach for the job. Henderson accepted the position and was provided a key in order to gain entry while the homeowner was away. He has been accused of using the key to steal property from the home.

Police reported that when the victim returned home he discovered some of his personal belongings were missing. He had a video surveillance security system in place, and while reviewing the material he discovered two people stealing items from his home. The recording for the following night revealed three people who stole more of his possessions. He believed one of the suspects was recognizable as Henderson.

Detectives obtained a search warrant for Henderson’s place of residence and identified the missing property from the victim’s home, in addition to goods taken from another reported burglary. Purses and clothing that did not appear to belong to Henderson were also discovered leading police to believe that more victims may exist.

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A car containing two people was pulled over by Ripton police officers performing a traffic stop for expired vehicle registration tags on Wednesday. Upon inspection they located items in the car that they believe had been stolen in a string of recent vehicle burglaries that took place in Santa Rosa and Modesto. In addition, the officers allegedly discovered methamphetamine and a fake gun in the car.

The driver of the Buick, 45-year-old Robert Lenton Ruiz, was found to be on probation and wanted for an arrest warrant for misdemeanor vandalism. 39-year-old Elisa Marie Cabonios, the passenger of the vehicle, possessed an arrest warrant for petty theft. The two were placed under arrest at the scene.

Ruiz and Cabonios are each facing allegations for possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools, possession of a controlled substance and destroying or concealing evidence. Ruiz must also face charges for driving with a suspended license and violation of a court order.

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After a hold-up in a Riverside Carl’s Jr. restaurant and a prior heist at a Riverside Pizza Hut, 28-year-old Jose Felipe Fernandez was charged with two counts of robbery with an enhancement of using a firearm in a felony. Enhancement laws, which vary by state, are typically sought to increase the classification of a conviction to a higher level offense and penalty due to the severity of the crime, or for repeat offenses.

After allegedly holding up the Carl’s Jr., Fernandez tried to flee the scene by driving his car through a nearby field leading the police on a chase that resulted in his arrest after the suspect crashed his vehicle causing it to ignite. The fire from the collision caused approximately 1 acre of brush to scorch before it was contained.

Fernandez has entered a plea of not guilty on all charges, and he is being detained on $1 million bail. Authorities reported that they are still seeking a second suspect who successfully escaped from the scene and remains at large.

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Overnight between March 27 and March 28, several homeowners in the Dover Shores area of Newport Beach reported that someone had attempted to vandalize and burglarize their homes. Newport Beach spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella said, “In each of these cases, an unknown suspect had used brute force, possibly a kick, to force open the front door to the residence.”

Although nothing was taken in those incidents, witnesses had reported to the police that they had seen a white man with a muscular build, along with an SUV near the scene of two of the crimes around the same time.

The next night, between the hours of 7 and 10 p.m. another home in the Newport Beach area was burglarized. “The door was forced open in the same manner as the other homes,” Manzella said. The resident was not home at the time of the crime. According to Manzella, watches and several items of jewelry were stolen.

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At the end of January, thieves stole $4.5 million in eye shadow palettes from a San Fernando Valley warehouse in an apparent heist. The unknown thieves sawed through the roof of a warehouse that stores the product for Anastasia Beverly Hills. The theft occurred between January 28th and 30th.

Over 100,000 “Modern Renaissance” palettes, which sell for $42 each, were taken during this heist. The palette is well-known and consumers are encouraged not to purchase palettes outside of a normal retailer.

Detectives in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Commercial Crimes Division are still investigating the theft and have yet to name any suspects.

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Two men, Jonathan Cephus, 36, and Melvin Collins, 33, are allegedly responsible for a long list of robberies that began on July 5, 2013. Cephus held up a Little Caesars in Fullerton, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Brock Zimmon.

Cephus later pistol-whipped a man as he robbed a Del Taco in Anaheim on July 22nd. On July 26th, Cephus robbed a Jack in Box in Anaheim and on August 28th Cephus again robbed a Jack in the Box in Anaheim, Zimmon said.

Four more robberies took place on September 2, 2013. The first one happened at 7 a.m. at a Burger King in Buena Park, but Collins got scared away when the clerk mentioned that there were many surveillance cameras in the store, According to Zimmon.