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Burglary, grand theft charges put Manteca women in SJ County jail

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Burglary, grand theft charges put Manteca women in SJ County jail

Lastraza Williams, 27, is escorted from her home to a waiting police transport van by officer Mike Kelly and detective Steve Harris after her arrest Thursday afternoon.

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin


POSTED May 1, 2009 2:29 a.m.
Lastraza Williams was arrested at her Todd Avenue residence late Thursday afternoon on charges of burglary, grand theft of personal property and the passing of a fictitious check.

She told Manteca Police officers she needed $2,500 to pay her rent as well as having an assortment of other bills including her PG&E.

The 27-year-old woman was booked into county jail where she is being held in lieu of $560,000 bail. The burglary charge grew out of her entering the bank to cash a check knowing she didn’t have the funds to cover it, police said.

As Manteca officers were arresting her at her home she was served with an eviction notice for failing to pay her back rent, police said.  

“It was a double whammy for her,” one officer said.

A Manteca Police spokesman said that in the last three days - April 27 to April 30 - she  had written more than 30 checks to businesses around town from Costco to PG &E as well as Staples, Best Buy and JC Penney. The Staples check was for $712, the one to PG&E was for $682, and one to Best Buy for $1,701- all listed on the carbon copies in her check book.

Detective Steve Harris said the woman originallyopened an account at Uncle Credit Union located on West Yosemite Avenue at Winters Drive. He said she deposited the minimum of $25.

On April 22 she reportedly went back to the credit union and asked to cash a check for $2,500. The check she had was written on D.D. Ent & Rental out of Seattle, WA on a Washington State Employees Credit Union, but it listed her home address on Todd.

The Manteca detective said the bank staff felt it was very suspicious being from out of state with a local address. They didn’t cash the check at that time but allowed her to withdraw $200 until they could verify the document.  

The Manteca credit union manager contacted the Seattle credit union and found the check was fictitious. They were also told that in previous instances Williams had attempted to withdraw funds from other closed accounts.  The credit union manager was soon contacted by his corporate office and told to call the police.

Detective Harris said that on April 23 Williams returned to the Uncle Credit Union and became argumentative wanting to talk to the manager about a loan after she had been told two weeks earlier that she didn’t qualify.  She allegedly told the manager, “it’s going to get ugly here.”  At that point police were again called, he said.

The checks she was using had been ordered on line, police said, with the name of the D.D. Ent. & Rental name printed on the checks. She received the checks on April 16.

Police later learned that Williams had five different social security numbers.  Detectives said within the months of  March and April she had made several credit inquiries with other banks in Stockton, Milpitas, Livermore and online with Washington Mutual.

It was during her arrest and the search of her home that detectives located books of checks indicating the other payments  had been made to the many businesses in Manteca over those  three days.  Those included one to Visa for $1,000, police said.

Others were allegedly written to  Safeway, Save Mart, Raleys and Walgreen’s.

She remains in San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp with a court date set for May 4, at 1:30 p.m. in the Manteca Branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court.
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