Ventura County – The crime of identity theft can take many forms, and none is taken more seriously by law enforcement than the use of fake or stolen documents to perpetrate fraud, larceny, or theft. Because the possession of a driver’s license is so widely accepted as a form of valid identification when conducting business or mercantile transactions, when the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department received a report of a private citizen’s personal information being used to purloin goods and merchandise from a local Thousand Oaks business on August 16th, the Thousand Oaks Police Investigations Bureau went into action that same day.
According to VCSD spokesman Sgt. Pete Frank, detectives “worked in cooperation with the local business to prevent any further use of the victim’s personal information” while pursuing leads to identify all possible suspects.
It didn’t take investigators long to identify James Haynes III, a 37-year-old San Diego resident, and Dominique Joachim, a 40-year-old resident of Los Angeles, as prime suspects in a series of local fraudulent merchant transactions. When the two men were observed navigating their way through Thousand Oaks’ commercial district traffic on August 18th, a routine traffic stop led to a search of their vehicle which revealed “numerous items indicating these subjects were involved in a large scale identity theft operation.” Among the items found inside their car were more than 35 fraudulent and stolen drivers licenses and other identity documents indicating their active use in a series of crimes throughout Ventura County and neighboring jurisdictions.
Both Joachim and Haynes were taken into custody at the scene and transported to Ventura County Jail, where they were booked on charges of commercial burglary, identity theft, and conspiracy, with their bail set at $250,000 each.
Photos: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking