Police have arrested two women suspected of identity theft, after a Redding woman had her wallet stolen while shopping, according to the Redding Police Department.
According to the RPD, the ID theft began Friday, at the TJ Maxx located on 1160 Hilltop Dr., Redding.
Police said within an hour of the theft, 44-year-old Elisa Bearden of Redding began receiving notifications from her credit card providers that her cards were being used at multiple locations in Redding.
Bearden then began going to each business where those transactions occurred, but each time Bearden went to the stores, she missed the suspects by a couple of minutes, according to RPD.
Moments later, Bearden went to the Mt. Shasta Mall to check more locations and learned that the suspects were using her credit card at Macy’s.
Police said that Bearden went to the Macy’s store and worked with loss prevention to find the suspects on video surveillance.
Bearden then contacted police and within minutes Officer Jamie Rouland responded along with loss prevention officers from both Macy’s and Mt. Shasta Mall security.
Authorities located the two female suspects inside the mall at Foot Locker and were identified as:
• Camila Fernandez, 25, Los Angeles
• Julietta Smith, 29, Los Angeles
Both suspects were uncooperative and had to be detained in handcuffs, and authorities searched the suspects and it revealed that they had numerous items stolen from Bearden, according to RPD.
They also had a “booster bag” which is a purse with false compartments and lined with aluminum foil, used to thwart electronic security devices.
The purse also contained a magnet powerful enough to deactivate electronic security devices, according to RPD.
Authorities said Fernandez falsely identified herself with a fake Puerto Rico ID card, and it even took a while to identify Smith at the time.
A search of both suspects revealed they already made a fake Nevada ID card using Bearden’s name, but with a picture of Fernandez.
Both the suspects charged nearly $10,000 in Bearden’s credit cards within a two hour period, and they also stole $6,000 in cash from Bearden’s wallet.
Only $1,200 was recovered by police, aside from the missing cash and wallet, officers were able to recover all of Bearden’s items.
During further investigation, Officer Joanna Bland located the suspects’ vehicle and Bland found items inside the car that were used to create fake ID’s.
Redding police said that these two women appear to be “professional identity thieves” and both the suspects were booked into the Shasta County Jail for identity theft and conspiracy.
After confirming Fernandez’ true identity, police found out that she had a felony warrant out of Oregon.