Maria Moya-long and Tabitha Bernhardt
VENTURA COUNTY — Since early April of this year, detectives with the Thousand Oaks Police Department had been tracking the activities of suspects involved in a series of vehicle burglaries and thefts taking place throughout Thousand Oaks and the nearby unincorporated Ventura County area of Oak park.
According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Capt. Garo Kuredjian, “the suspects took numerous items of property, including cash and credit cards,” and soon after the thefts occurred, “the suspects used the stolen credit cards to make several hundred dollars’ worth of fraudulent purchases.”
The thefts of property and the subsequent identity thefts apparently made the investigation a high priority issue for the area’s law enforcement, as it didn’t take them long to identify 24-year-old Port Hueneme resident Maria Moya-long as a prime suspect.
Pursuant to the naming of Moya-long as their target, Thousand Oaks Police investigators and a detail of the TOP special Enforcement Unit swooped in, served a search warrant at 9:00 a.m. on May 24th on her residence, and found Moya-long and her confederates, 32-year-old Port Hueneme resident Tabitha Bernhardt and 23-year-old Oxnard resident Rafael Lopez in the home and in possession of stolen property associated with the suspected burglaries, as well as evidence of methamphetamine for sale.
Because Bernhardt’s two-year-old child was in the home, investigators conducted a “Drug Endangered Child” survey of things, whereupon Ventura County Child Protective Services were called to the scene.
Before the end of the morning, Moya-long, Bernhardt, and Lopez were all on the way to Ventura County Jail, where Bernhardt was booked on charges of conspiracy, vehicle burglary, grand theft, and identity theft, as well as child endangerment, possession of a controlled substance for sale, and being under the influence of a controlled substance.
Lopez was booked on a charge of being under the influence of a controlled substance, while Moya-long was charged with “numerous counts of conspiracy, vehicle burglary, grand theft, and identity theft,” with her bail set at $250,000, equal to Bernhardt’s bail amount.
Photos: courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking