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6 Held in Rash of Identity Thefts

November 28, 2002|Carol Chambers | Times Staff Writer

Six Antelope Valley residents have been arrested in a rash of identity and mail thefts totaling tens of thousands of dollars, authorities said Wednesday.

The names of the five men and one woman arrested Tuesday and Wednesday were not released because investigations into the thefts are ongoing, said Lt. Ed Dvorak of the Los Angeles County sheriff's Palmdale station. There were more than a dozen victims, authorities said.

While serving several search warrants at residences this week, sheriff's deputies and U.S. Postal Service inspectors seized stolen mail and computer equipment used to create false identifications.

Most of the thefts occurred along the western edge of Palmdale in the rural communities of Leona Valley, Elizabeth Lake and Lake Hughes, where mailboxes are typically clustered together away from homes, Dvorak said.

The six suspects are being held on varying bail amounts on charges including identity theft, mail theft and forgery. They are expected to be arraigned Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court and may also face federal charges, Dvorak said.

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