Public Leads Cops to Identity Thieves

Public Leads Cops to Identity Thieves

Stephanie Godoy

VENTURA COUNTY — Hiking through the well-traveled trails of the Ventura County area national forests is a popular pastime for those eager to experience a true outdoor adventure close to home.

One of the more popular spots for the starting point of such an excursion is at the intersection of Matilija Canyon Road and State Highway 33, just outside the city of Ojai. All one has to do is park at the trailhead, lock your car, and head up the trail.

Melissa Durazo

Melissa Durazo

But even locking one’s car is no guarantee of security, as was made apparent on August 9th when, according to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Det. J. Hollowell, “a victim had her purse containing credit cards stolen” from her vehicle while she was hiking.

Making things even worse for the theft victim, her stolen credit card was used that very day at the Ventura Walmart Store, which quickly led Ojai Station detectives to the scene where they reviewed surveillance video of two females making purchases with the stolen credit card.

With no clue as to the identities of the suspects, Ventura County Sheriff’s Department turned to the power of social media and the internet, broadcasting the video on Facebook and making “a request to identify the suspects.”

It didn’t take long for VCSD detectives to have more leads than they needed, as “several citizens recognized the suspects from the video and provided their names to law enforcement.”

Working a methodical investigation, it was nearly seven weeks later when detectives made contact with 39-year-old Stephanie Godoy and 45-year-old Melissa Durazo, both residents of Oxnard.

Upon contact at their residence, the two women were positively identified and taken into custody. Both were transported to Ventura County Jail, where Durazo was booked on an outstanding warrant with her bail set at $5,000, and Godoy was booked on charged of identity theft, burglary, and forgery, with her bail set at $55,000.

Photos: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking

Public Leads Cops to Identity Thieves was last modified: September 27th, 2016 by admin
Categories: Ventura

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