Identity theft is a very hazardous crime that can put people in a financial crisis, and, surprisingly, two people found they were most vulnerable when a banker took control of their debit cards.
Back in January 2014, a Newhall resident claimed that someone hacked his debit card, as unauthorized purchases were put on his bank statements. The purchases totaled to be over $8,000.
A few months later, in May, another resident claimed that she had lost $16,000 in her bank account in April.
According to the report, both victims left their debit cards at the bank; one of the victims by accident, and the other victim was encouraged by a banker to leave his debit card. The banker ensured the victim that he would receive a new debit card later on. The incidents happened at two different bank locations
Santa Clarita detectives investigated both of the incidents, and recognized that they were very similar based on how the money was withdrawn from the accounts. The detectives concluded that there was one suspect, and the suspect was a bank employee. Detectives contacted bank supervisors to help identify the suspect.
On July 2, around noon, detectives arrested bank employee Samuel Jose Godinez, 25, for identity theft. He was booked for commercial burgalry, theft by access card, and for passing checks with known insufficient funds.
The bank fired Godinez on the spot with no questions asked when they concluded he was the thief.
Godinez was later released on $20,000 bail.