HIGHLAND (CBSLA.com) — Two Los Angeles men remained in custody on Sunday for committing alleged forgery, grand theft and mail theft.
According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, deputies from the Highland Station were sent around 10:58 a.m. Saturday to the 7200 block of Boulder Avenue after a citizen reported seeing a man possibly stealing mail from a U.S. Postal Service drop box.
The caller provided deputies with a description of the suspect, suspect vehicle, and last known location of the suspect.
Once on scene, deputies located the suspect vehicle — occupied by William Antonio Lopez, 45, and Jaime Alejandro Lemus, 35 — parked in a nearby shopping center.
A preliminary investigation revealed that Lemus and Lopez lowered a flexible, adhesive covered device into a mailbox, and stole mail that stuck to the device.
Deputies went on to explain the two men then drove to a nearby shopping center, where they opened numerous pieces of mail, and stole checks, identification and personal information.
Authorities said in about a ten minute period, Lemus and Lopez were able to steal at least seven checks, and altered one check by changing the recipients name from a utility company to Lopez's name.
As the investigation continued, deputies were able to recover dozens of stolen, forged and fraudulent checks from victims across Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Highland, San Bernardino and Riverside.
Lemus and Lopez were found in possession of multiple identification cards and driver's licenses. Methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia was also recovered by deputies.
According to deputies, both men were using stolen identities to obtain cash by forging checks.
Lemus and Lopez are being held on $1 million at the Central Detention Center on multiple charges including forgery, grand theft and mail theft.
Deputies explained the case will be referred to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Both men could additionally face federal mail theft charges.
for more features.