WEATHER »
Four central Californians were arrested Wednesday in Carpinteria for suspected involvement in an identity theft ring and for drug charges.

SBCSO

Four central Californians were arrested Wednesday in Carpinteria for suspected involvement in an identity theft ring and for drug charges.


Suspected ID Theft Ring Busted in Carp

‘Cache’ of Fake, Stolen Credit Cards Leads to Four Arrests


A law enforcement official who chided two people Wednesday night for smoking on the 5500 block of Carpinteria Avenue stumbled upon a suspected identify theft ring composed of four central California individuals, authorities say.

Around 10:30 p.m., a Sheriff’s deputy informed Squaw Valley residents Renee Ash, 24, and Christopher Hernandez, 37, that public smoking violates Carpinteria city law. The deputy found one suspect was on probation for theft charges out of Fresno County.

Searching a car associated with Ash and Hernandez, the deputy discovered methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and “a cache of fraudulent California identification cards, debit cards, and credit cards,” read a Sheriff’s Office press release. The two were booked into County Jail for possession of meth and drug paraphernalia, identity theft, and conspiracy with $50,000 bail each.

Two additional suspects — Wanda Elliott-Ash, 47, and Chad Petros, 31, of Madera County — were arrested at a nearby motel after authorities found “more stolen credit cards, checkbooks, and manufactured fraudulent credit cards” inside the rooms.

Elliot-Ash gave authorities a fake identity in order to hide a felony narcotics and theft warrant from Madera, said the Sheriff’s Office. She was booked into jail for possessing drug paraphernalia and stolen property, providing false identity, conspiracy, identity theft, and the felony warrant. Petros was also arrested, but he released because of a medical issue. His charges are pending.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Bellosguardo to Host Big-Bucks Gala

The private, black-tie fundraiser is set for October 14.

City Loses Trip-and-Fall Verdict

The injured woman wins $105,000.

Phone Scams Spike Countywide

Callers are claiming to be IRS and Homeland Security agents.

Longtime Fiesta Soldados Given the Boot 

Ousted Marc Martinez said Old Spanish Days has become "less inclusive."

Los Padres Forest Officials Ban Unpermitted Campfires

Wildfire conditions prompt caution.