Articles Posted in Theft Crimes

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An executive for the cosmetics company Urban Decay has been accused of stealing more than $1 million through bank transfer transactions between the business and fraudulent accounts he created. He is facing felony charges for the allegations.

Irvine resident Ranjeet Reddy Paladugo holds a position as the vice president of finance at the Newport Beach based company Urban Decay. He is suspected of utilizing several banks in order to create fake accounts, which were similarly named after business affiliates of the company, in order to embezzle funds that he transferred from Urban Decay. On July 17 he allegedly stole over $1 million from Urban Decay.

Paladugo purportedly commissioned a transaction in the amount of $598,500 which he transferred through one of the phony accounts. He then transferred that money into his personal bank account. This procedure was repeated again in the same amount, and routed through a second bogus business account. Paladugo is said to have used the stolen money for personal use, including the down payment on a house.

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46-year-old Juan Manuel Rodriguez is employed as an Orange County probation officer. While on assignment with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Tactical Apprehension Team he has been suspected of taking money from the residents of the homes where he assisted in serving search warrants.

On August 8 Rodriguez visited a residence in Santa Ana in order to serve a search warrant. The person being served was distracted during the period that Rodriguez was inspecting their identification card, and they claimed that $150 had gone missing from their wallet. The victim alerted one of the sheriff’s deputies on site immediately after noticing the money was gone.

According to prosecutors, sheriff’s officials made the decision to organize a sting operation two days after the incident was reported in an attempt to apprehend the offender. A vehicle was rigged with a hidden surveillance camera and $1,200 was planted inside.

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A man was driving in an Acura in Anaheim late Monday evening when police ran the plates and identified it as a vehicle from Downey that had been reported stolen earlier that day.

As accounted by Sgt. Daron Wyatt of the Anaheim Police Department, officers pursued the car and the driver continued for approximately one block until he entered a residential area and stopped in the middle of the road. Police suspected there may have been a malfunction with the vehicle which forced him to come to a halt.

The man, identified as Norwalk resident Hector Munoz, then locked himself in the vehicle and refused to cooperate with law enforcement. Police used a PA system and made several attempts to get Munoz to get out of the vehicle, but he allegedly did not comply willingly.

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A Los Angeles man accused of stealing diapers from stores for close to a full year tried to escape police on Wednesday by leading them on a chase that resulted in an accident. A small child was in the car with the driver during the event.

23-year-old Darrion Tyrone Parker, a man Los Angeles County prosecutors have nicknamed the “diaper bandit,” has allegedly been involved in a string of robberies beginning in December 2016 and continuing through Wednesday. He is said to have stolen packages of diapers from various grocery stores and retail outlets in and around Long Beach by using threat of force, according to the DA’s office.

When Parker had attempted a robbery on Wednesday an employee of the store chased him into the parking lot and accosted him about his purported sticky fingers.

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A married couple who own a travel business were charged with embezzlement after they allegedly accepted payment for booking international trips to Japan for San Diego high school band members and their parents, and then cancelled the trips. The company then filed for bankruptcy and the people were not offered refunds for the thousands of dollars they had spent.

Brad and Margie Matheson are the proprietors of a Georgia based travel service called Harmony International. In January 2016, they extended a package to four San Diego area high school’s band departments. The offer was for the school’s band members to take an international trip where parents could accompany their children to Japan.

Brad Matheson presented the offer in a Skype meeting telling parents and students, “If you register before March 1, 2016, for this group, you’ll receive free trip cancellation insurance.” He stated this offer was intended as an added incentive bonus in order to encourage early registration.

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A UC San Diego freshman has been implicated as the perpetrator in the disappearance of hundreds of pairs of underwear taken from the Sixth College dormitory laundry rooms. The thefts reportedly took place over a period of weeks before the suspect was caught in the act by a victim, leading to his arrest.

Weeks before David Chou, the alleged culprit, was captured students of UCSD’s Sixth College saw a sign posted in the area of the resident laundry rooms alerting of more than one incident where underwear was stolen. Several students continued to come forward with claims of missing undergarments, and a few weeks following the first warning a duplicate notice was posted encouraging the students to monitor their laundry at all times to deter the thief.

When one woman who requested to remain anonymous reported to her dorm advisor that an entire washing machine load of her laundry had gone missing containing up to 14 pairs of panties, she was assisted in reporting the event to campus police. They informed her that they were unable to facilitate further than suggesting she bring a companion along while doing laundry in order to better ensure her safety. She vented in a post on social media about what had happened to her, and Chou showed much hubris by leaving a humorous retort in the comment section.

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A woman working as a psychic out of a business in Mount Vernon, Washington, has been charged with defrauding clients after she was convicted for the same offense nearly ten years ago in Florida.

69-year-old Linda Marks, a woman claiming she is a psychic, stood trial in 2006 in Florida for scamming mostly ill and vulnerable clients for more than $2 million over a period of eight years by offering supernatural solutions to their dilemmas. Just before she was given a four year sentence she made a statement to the court apologizing for her actions. Marks explained that she learned to steal as a result of growing up in a gypsy community, and a family member trained her in fortunetelling. “This is our heritage. This is the way we are taught to survive,” she said.

Marks has now moved her business to Mount Vernon, Washington. A woman recently sought the help of Marks for romantic, physical and family problems which were causing her to suffer from depression. Marks allegedly informed the woman that she was afflicted with a curse, and she could be cured through spiritual means.

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Idaho resident Ashley Nicole Vidrine has been accused of fraudulently advertising a rental property and accepting money from interested prospective tenants while having no intention of renting to them.

Though Vidrine and her husband reside in the townhouse she had listed as available for rent, police estimated she allegedly accepted down payments for the property nearing $3000 since the start of their investigation in early September. When would-be tenants who paid her went to view the property they found no one available, and Vidrine was unable to be reached by telephone. It is unknown at this time whether or not her husband was also a part of the hoax.

Police took 25-year-old Vidrine into custody on Thursday and she faces multiple charges including felony grand theft by deception, and felony computer crime for “Use of a computer or network to obtain money by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises or committing theft.” In addition, Vidrine is charged with one count of misdemeanor petty theft. She is being held in Madison County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

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Two men dining at a Waffle House in Louisiana on Saturday allegedly left the restaurant without paying their bill totaling $7.81. Workers at the establishment notified law enforcement reporting the incident, and also disclosed that the men drove off in a U-Haul van.

While police took statements from employees of the restaurant, patrolling officers noticed a U-Haul fitting the description parked in the lot of a hotel in the vicinity. As they approached the van the officers immediately apprehended the driver, California resident Stayshawn D. Stephens. The passenger, identified as Richard A. Brown, of Indiana, tried to escape into the forest on foot, but a K-9 officer exposed his whereabouts and he was taken into custody.

Upon inspection of the contents of the van, Deputy Chief Daniel Hunter reported finding credit card skimmers, which are electronic devices with the ability to store personal information gathered by swiping credit cards. They also discovered fake ID’s, credit cards, and a bill from a Waffle House for $7.41.

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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.