Pasadena Police Arrest 3 in Possibly Major Identity Theft Case

Published : Thursday, March 30, 2017 | 8:41 AM

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Two men from Pasadena and a woman from Duarte were arrested Wednesday night after the vehicle they were in turned out to be stolen and brimming with evidence of a large identity theft operation after a traffic stop at the corner of Peoria Street and North Raymond Avenue in Pasadena.

When police searched the vehicle, they found stolen IDs and credit and debit cards, credit card statements, tax returns and even card readers and computers that pointed to the suspects possible involvement in identity fraud, Pasadena Police Lt. Pete Hettema said.

Hettema said officers on routine patrol had conducted a traffic stop on the car at about 7 p.m. because they saw the vehicle had no license plates.

“Further investigation revealed the vehicle was stolen,” Hettema said. “During a search of the vehicle, numerous instruments of identity theft were recovered. One of the suspects was arrested for grand theft auto and identity theft, another for identity theft, and a third suspect was arrested for a parole violation.”

Hettema identified the suspects as Philip Marmolego, 28, and Joseph Camerano, 30, both of whom are from Pasadena; and Noelia Gaeta, 39, from Duarte.

Given the numerous items of evidence recovered, the case could be easier to prosecute compared to other identity theft cases, he said.

Hettema said in most individual identity cases, prosecuting suspects can be difficult because the credit card companies do not extend much effort to collaborate with authorities.

“This will be a good case, but oftentimes, a victim calls us and say, ‘my identity has been stolen,’ they look back at the transactions but we just don’t get a lot of cooperation from the credit card companies,” Hettema said. “They just write it off because it’s cheaper for them than going to court. It’s sad. It’s devastating for the people who are the victims.”

All of the suspects have been booked at the Pasadena City Jail and the investigation is ongoing, Hettema said.

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