Three suspects accused of using computers to track UPS deliveries of American Express cards in order to intercept them from their rightful owners were behind bars today, a sheriff’s spokesman said.
John William Hall, 43, Sarah Margaret Dahm, 22, and Sandra Sanchez Solis, 24, were booked on suspicion of possession of stolen property, commercial burglary, mail fraud and stealing mail, said Jim Amormino of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Hall was being held in lieu of $270,000 bail, while bail was set at $20,000 for Dahm and $50,000 for Solis.
Sheriff’s deputies following up on an unrelated issue early Wednesday morning at the Extended Stay America hotel, 22711 Oakcrest Circle, spotted a vehicle suspected of being used in a string of thefts in Yorba Linda, Amormino said.
When the driver of the vehicle made an illegal turn, deputies pulled the car over, leading to the arrests, he said.
Hall, who was behind the wheel, did not have a valid driver’s license and was wanted on a $250,000 warrant in a narcotics case, Amormino said. Dahm, who was in the passenger seat, was on probation, which allowed deputies to search the vehicle and their residence without a warrant, Amormino said.
Deputies found numerous gift cards in the vehicle, and when they went back to the suspects’ hotel room, investigators found electronics, clothes, about 25 gift cards and other suspected stolen loot, Amormino said.
Deputies also seized a computer equipped with software allowing the suspects to track the UPS deliveries of American Express cards, Amormino said. Solis was staying at the hotel with the other two, he said.
“What the three have been doing was tracking deliveries, so they would know at a certain time and address UPS would be delivering American Express cards,” Amormino said. “Once they got the cards, they would go to Wal-Mart, Ralphs, Target, Vons, and buy gift cards and other items.”
Investigators suspect the trio drove around Yorba Linda, Placentia, Orange, Anaheim, Brea and Fullerton stealing packages left in front of homes, Amormino said.
“They’ve been operating in the Yorba Linda-Brea area since Thanksgiving,” he said.
A search of a motor home owned by Hall in Corona also led investigators to numerous gift cards purchased with stolen credit cards, Amormino alleged.
Riverside County sheriff’s officials have been alerted and will investigate a string of thefts in that county, he said.