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Suspect linked to 20 ID theft victims: Deputies find $100,000 worth of merchandise in home of mortgage company employee
[April 20, 2006]

Suspect linked to 20 ID theft victims: Deputies find $100,000 worth of merchandise in home of mortgage company employee

(Daily Press (Victorville, CA) (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Apr. 20--FONTANA -- When local sheriff's deputies searched the home of Patricia Angela Davis, they found her clutching a stack of incriminating files -- as she hid under her bed.

But what she couldn't hide was $100,000 worth of merchandise that Davis allegedly obtained using the credit identities of at least 20 area victims.

The files that Davis was found clutching contained the personal information of numerous victims that she allegedly stole from a mortgage company in Rancho Cucamonga while employed there.

"Everything in the house -- from the pictures on the wall to the silverware and the big screen TVs -- were purchased with fraudulent credit cards," said Detective Sgt. Bobby Hughes of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Victorville station. He estimated that the home contained $100,000 worth of merchandise that Davis obtained with other people's credit.

Detective Kevin Jaquez began investigating the fraudulent activity eight weeks ago when a deputy took an identity theft report locally. Through that one instance, the team was able to identify Davis, 28, as the suspect.

"She used to work for a mortgage company and during the course of her work she was entrusted with people's files of their personal information, and she used that information to fraudulently obtain credit in their names. In other cases she looked at the victim's credit report and put herself on their account as an authorized user," Jaquez said.

Jaquez said that Davis had the utilities of her home, in the 13000 block of Belmonte Road in Fontana, placed in her daughter's name as a way of keeping authorities from finding her. She also paid her monthly car payments with the falsely obtained credit cards and on one occasion she is believed to have opened a $30,000 line of credit and withdrew that amount in cash, officials said.

Jaquez said that Davis is also currently on felony probation for similar crimes and was convicted of forgery a few years ago, he said.

Right now detectives are aware of at least 20 identity theft victims. But each time Davis made purchases at stores such as Home Depot, Circuit City and a Rialto-based furniture store it was an act of burglary, authorities say.

Davis was arrested on suspicion of forgery, burglary and identity theft and was booked into West Valley Detention Center where she is being held on $500,000 bail. The investigation will be ongoing to determine any other victims.

Much of the recovered property was returned to the stores it was purchased at on Tuesday, Hughes said.

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