Photo: Samantha Hale
March 1, 2021 – Ventura County, Ca.
Samantha Hale, a 34-year-old resident of Oxnard was arrested in the early afternoon of February 26th , and all indications are that she is a prolific and skilled fraudster.
According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Det. Charles MacDonald, what sets Hale apart from the run-of-the-mill identity thief was evidence gathered outside the Camarillo Town Center Shopping Center.
It seems Hale—who became a source of law enforcement interest pursuant to multiple reports of vehicle burglaries that included “several home surveillance videos”—was seen driving “a newer model U-Haul van with Arizona license
plates” at locations where the thefts took place.
When the van was spotted in the shopping center parking lot on February 25th , a surveillance team comprised of detectives and deputies attached to the Camarillo Direct Enforcement Unit went into action.
The observed Hale entering nearby Staples and Target stores, whereupon detectives contacted the Target store’s loss prevention personnel and “monitored” Hale as she made purchases at a self-checkout kiosk. In making those purchases, Hale used a number of credit cards, several of which were declined on the spot.
Outside the Target store, cops confronted Hale and quickly discovered that the credit cards in her possession belonged to others. She was also in possession of “shaved keys,” which then lead to a search of the U-Haul van. Inside the van, “numerous items” determined to be stolen property were discovered, including property reported stolen in the earlier vehicle burglaries.
Hale was taken into custody and transported to Ventura County Jail, where she was booked on charges of Identity Theft, Grand Theft, fraudulent use of an access card, possession of stolen property, mail theft, possession of burglary tools, and retail theft.
Photo: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking