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Identity Theft Suspect Arrested


On May 20, 2013, a victim had her purse stolen from her vehicle in the 1100 block of 119th Street, Los Angeles. The victim's credit cards were in her purse when it was stolen and used without her authorization.

On July 19, 2013, the victim reported to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, South Los Angeles Station that she was the victim of identity theft.

The victim was contacted by a bail bond company who indicated that she owed them money since she had them bail an inmate out of jail. The victim did not know the inmate and did not bail anyone out of jail. The victim then went to the DMV to renew her driver's license because it was about to expire. The victim learned that the identity theft suspect had also went to the DMV and changed her address and had her picture taken so the suspect could use the victim's identity. DMV compared the photograph on file with the victim that was standing at the counter and realized it was not the same person. When the victim saw the suspect's picture at the DMV, she recognized the person as a family member of a work acquaintance. DMV also showed a record that someone received a traffic citation in the victim's name; however, it was not the victim. The suspect ended up using the victim's name, address and social security number to steal her identity.

The case was assigned to South Los Angeles Station Detective Peterson. Detective Peterson was able to identify the suspect as Maria Romero, 32 year old female. On August 14, 2013, Romero was arrested after a search warrant was authored and executed.

Lieutenant John Hocking indicated, "Detective Peterson did an outstanding job putting the pieces of this puzzle together. Remember, do not leave valuables in your vehicle, always take them with you."

The case was presented to the Torrance District Attorney's office and criminal charges were filed. Romero is being held without bail. Her next court date is September 3, 2013.

Lieutenant John Hocking

South Los Angeles Sheriff's Station

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

(323) 820-6700

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Identity Theft
Identity Theft

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