Duo Arrested For Stealing Identification, Checks

Duo Arrested For Stealing Identification, Checks

by Justin Kree

NewsWest 9

ODESSA- 30-year-old Ricardo Garcia and 21-year-old Berta Mendieta were allegedly trying to use a stolen I.D. to cash a stolen check worth $17,500 at the Kwik Kash in Odessa. Right away, store employee, Elisa Mercado, knew something was wrong so she called the bank and verified it was stolen.

Odessa Police was the next call Mercado made. While police were on their way, Mercado tried to stall the couple.

"We were telling them that the bank cleared the funds but they put me on hold. I told them that I was almost done cashing their check," said Mercado.

Within minutes, police surrounded the truck that Garcia and Mendieta were in and arrested them. Police were shocked with what they found in the truck.

"Several identification cards belonging to several victims in Odessa, Hobbs, Gaines County, Andrews, all over the place," said Odessa Police Cpl. Steve LeSueur.

Also, found in the truck were drugs, credit cards, tax records, insurance cards and even mail belonging to dozens of people. Police say the U.S. Postal Inspector will most likely press charges.

A 4-month-old baby girl was in the truck at the time of the arrest. She's now in the hands of Child Protective Services. LeSueur says the two suspects have been doing this for some time.

"They knew what they were doing. We're just glad we caught them when we did. If not, they would still be out there committing more crimes," said LeSueur.

LeSueur tells NewsWest 9 that this arrest most likely was connected to other crimes that will hopefully be solved.

Both Garcia and Mendieta will be facing multiple charges, including ten or more second degree felony charges for using fraudulent identification.