Photo: Courtney Clements
Ventura County – How many of us are as security conscious as we should be when we go to the gym? When we’re long time patrons of a particular workout emporium, many of us relax our defenses, rush into a locker room, and stuff our goodies into the nearest unlocked locker…and don’t bother locking it simply because we think we know everyone there and we trust them.
That seems to have been the habit of a 23-year-old Thousand Oaks female gym patron on the night of December 15th—after all, the Holiday Season was approaching fast, a time of good cheer and good will—when she left her ID, wallet, and car keys in an unlocked locker and then went off to her spin class.
According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Robert Davidson, that’s when her troubles began as “the victim completed her workout and went to retrieve her personal belongings, discovering they were missing.” Immediately sensing something amiss, the victim ran out to the parking lot, only to see her 2010 Kia Forte being driven off by a perfect stranger.
A call to 911 Emergency brought deputies to the scene with all due alacrity. Shortly thereafter, surveillance video was accessed, as well as video records of nearby retailers where the victim’s credit cards were already in use.
With positive identification made on the part of the victim, Thousand Oaks Police Department detectives determined the driver of the stolen car was 31-year-old Agoura Hills resident Ashley Crawford. From that point forward, surveillance of Crawford was conducted, and on January 9th she was observed stealing “numerous items of clothing” from the Oaks Mall, whereupon she was contacted and taken into custody. A search of her vehicle revealed “stolen credit cards and a small amount of heroin.”
The following day, January 10th, the initial victim’s Kia was observed at the residence of 33-year-old Agoura Hills resident Courtney Clements. Contact was made with Clements—who had an outstanding felony warrant—and she was arrested at the scene.
Further investigation pointed to 29-year-old Jerica Henning of Valencia as a co-conspirator involved in the group’s ongoing identity thefts, and on January 16th she was found in Santa Clarita, taken into custody, and transported to Ventura County Jail.
All three suspects remain in custody on outstanding warrants and charges of conspiracy, grand theft, vehicle theft, and possession of stolen property.
Photos: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking