Auto Theft Taskforce Busts Rental Car Fraud Ring
In April 2012, the Taskforce for Regional Autotheft Prevention (TRAP) detectives conducted an investigation regarding the theft of numerous rental cars via identity theft and fraud, committed throughout Los Angeles County.
During this investigation, TRAP detectives received information from a vehicle rental representative, that approximately seven vehicles were stolen (valued at over $200,000) using fraudulent American Express and Visa credit cards accounts. One of the stolen vehicles, a 2012 Cadillac Escalade was located in North Hills at a motel.
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On April 26, 2012 while conducting surveillance in the 8600 block of Sepulveda Boulevard, North Hills area, detectives discovered a second stolen rental car, a 2011 Infinity QX56, in the parking lot. Both stolen vehicles ultimately moved at different times and were subsequently stopped and arrested with the assistance of LAPD, Mission Division patrol officers.
Both suspects, a male, later identified as John Buchholz, 40, of Los Angeles (pictured, at right) and a female, later identified as Danae Cormier, 27, of Burbank, (also pictured at right) were arrested and booked for Grand Theft Auto with additional pending charges of Identity Theft, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon and Narcotics possession.
On April 27, 2012, a person on active parole John Reed was arrested driving one of the outstanding stolen rental cars, a 2012 Ford Escape.
Detectives recovered evidence of washed checks, credit card profiles and identifications, stolen mail, a postal pass key, methamphetamines, and a paper mill to make and process checks inside the couple’s motel room. Postal inspectors of the U.S Postal Service were notified due to the stolen mail and possession of the postal pass key.
For additional information, please contact TRAP Detective Sergeant Jess Corral, at (818) 830-6977.
The Taskforce for Regional Autotheft Prevention (TRAP) was established in 1993 under the direction of the Countywide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee (CCJCC) with the Sheriff designated as the Regional Coordinator. The task force consists of regional investigative teams from various law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles County. TRAP’s mission is to reduce the incidents of auto theft countywide by coordinating a deterrence, investigation, and prosecutorial program with all criminal justice agencies, and private sector business leaders.