Online Theft Ring Broken By Alert Victim
An e-mail sent to an Arizona woman led to an arrest of a Sylmar man when he arrived at Walmart on Carl Boyer Drive to pick up a few items.
According to Sgt. Darren Harris of the Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s station, management at Walmart received a call from the victim who received an e-mail telling her that her online order was ready for pickup in the Santa Clarita store. She had never placed the order, but her credit card was charged, and Ronald Contreras’ name was listed as a secondary person authorized to pick up the goods.
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She didn’t know Contreras, either.
When Contreras, 29, arrived at the store shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday, deputies took him into custody and confiscated the order, which included several electronics items. They conducted a search of his car, finding and recovering new electronics (still in original packaging) that Contreras claimed he had purchased on craigslist.
Harris added that Walmart had three more purchases pending in the victim’s name, which had been placed by three different individuals located in Oklahoma, Florida and Georgia.
Contreras was booked at the Santa Clarita station on suspicion of receiving stolen property and burglary; he remains in custody in lieu of $20,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.