It was a red letter day Tuesday for Manteca Police detective Aaron Montoya with the arrest of a 25-year-old couple with more than 100 pounds of mail and stolen IDs covering their apartment floor in the 300 block of North Union Road.
Montoya has been assigned to the mail and ID theft investigation for the last year and only last month noted that there had been some 265 mail theft victims in the area. Now, he said that number will push up considerably with Tuesday’s arrests expecting to find 500 to 700 victims in the investigation.
He said he expects the mail thefts to reach a total of tens of thousands of dollars.
The detective said he will be sending letters to all the victims when he can obtain their addresses.
Arrested were Travis Erwin, 25, and Ciara Renois, 25, both of Manteca who were living together as a couple at their Manteca apartment and allegedly breaking into mail boxes throughout at least two counties.
The detective said the couple had been using a Fingerhut account to order a lap top under the man’s first name and the woman’s sur name. Officers were waiting for the delivery of that computer to cinch the case and make their arrests.
Officers pulled their units into the complex parking lot at about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday as Erwin was returning to his apartment with police cars blocking his silver Volvo and preventing his escape. They took him down in his car. The woman had simultaneously run out the front door after reportedly getting a call from Erwin on his cell to run. One officer followed her to the Union Station convenience store in the 500 block of Union Road and arrested her without incident, returning her to the apartment complex in handcuffs.
Police said they found bolt cutters and other burglar tools in his car along with stolen property already in the woman’s name in the apartment. Stolen letters and ID documents came from Manteca, Modesto, Tracy, Livermore, Mountain House and Castro Valley, Montoya said.
“I think they also had a lot of stolen packages taken from front porches,” the detective said. “There were endless credit cards, stolen checks and even a credit card reader and address books found inside their apartment.”
They are being charged with conspiracy, possession of stolen property, possession of a stolen vehicle, ID theft, and possession of methamphetamine and Erwin for being on felony probation and for being a felon in possession of .223 assault rifle ammunition.
The two were transported to the San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp. A court date had not yet been set, according to the Sheriff’s website.
To contact Glenn Kahl, email email@example.com.