The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office that they say stolen goods bought with credit cards obtained by identity theft were being mailed to.
Deputies found two bags of stolen mail in the residence at 138 Oak Lane and believe that over 60 people from all over the county were victims of identity theft.
So far, Bernard Gomez of Watsonville and Jovana Moller, have been arrested in connection with the thefts. A third suspect, Erin Boetzer of Scotts Valley, is still at large. None of the three are on the lease of the apartment that was searched, and Deputy April Skalland.
Skalland added that she wouldn’t be surprised if others were involved in the theft ring.
The suspects were using the stolen identities to open up credit cards and checking accounts and then used them to purchase items online and in stores, according to Skalland.
“Some of these victims may not even know that they are a victim at all,” Skalland said. “Their mail may have gotten stolen and they may not have even realized it.”
Skalland said that some of the victims have been notified but there are many that the Sheriff’s Office has not been able to reach. The department is releasing the first initial and last names of those victims in hopes that they will see their names and contact the Sheriff’s Office.
The names of the victims are:
There are several ways people can protect themselves from identity theft situations such as this Skalland said.
“When the mailman comes to your house, get your mail as soon as possible. If you can get a mailbox that is locked and secure that’s even better,” Skalland said. “These suspects will go out to mailboxes during the night because people left mail there the day before. Or maybe you are on vacation and didn’t get your mail stopped. Those are key things to keep in mind.”
If you are a victim, contact Sheriff's Office Investigations at 831-454-2311.