Cesar Herrera and Darian Loehner
VENTURA COUNTY — Proving once again the value of maintaining a commercial or Postal Service P.O. Box, or of securing one’s residential mailbox with a thick padlock (or two), on August 7th Ventura residents Darian Loehner and Cesar Herrera were arrested and charged with identity theft, forgery, and possession of stolen property pursuant to their nefarious activities first suspected by law enforcement as early as May 25, 2017.
It was on that date, according to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Detective Regan, assigned to the Ojai Patrol Station, that an investigation began into the duplication of a local area merchant’s business checks which were apparently being redeemed for cash as early as two months prior. The alleged crime had “continued for several months before being discovered,” Regan reported.
The ensuing investigation soon identified Loehner and Herrera as possible suspects, whereupon their Ventura residence was put under the watchful eye of VCSD investigators.
That surveillance developed evidence that Herrera was driving “a brand new 2017 Dodge Challenger Hellcat, valued in excess of $90,000” which undoubtedly gave rise to questions as to the possible funding for such a purchase.
A couple of phone calls to local area dealerships indicated that the vehicle had been purchased with “a fraudulently-made Bank of America cashier’s check” in the amount of $62,000.
With that information at hand and their suspicions mounting quickly, West Ventura County Investigations Unit detectives served a search warrant on the Loehner-Herrera residence, recovering a plethora of evidence indicating an ongoing and substantial identity theft operation that involved stolen Social Security cards, passports, checks, credit cards, and “property belonging to 117 separate victims.”
Both Loehner and Herrera were arrested and transported to Ventura County Jail where they were booked on the aforementioned charges, with Herrera additionally charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and Loehner additionally charged with destruction of evidence. They remain in custody with their bail set at $250,000 each.
Photos: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking