Michael Cepeda was taken into custody near his apartment in the area of Patton Drive and Wedekind Road after being found with debit cards and other personal information from his victims.
On March 13, the owners of a Spanish Springs business reported the theft of a bag containing documents of both a personal and business nature. The theft had occurred on March 6, after a customer stole the bag from the counter area while the owner was distracted. The owner was able to get a license plate and description of the suspect, which was given to sheriff’s personnel.
Detectives followed up with the victim last week and learned their bank accounts, cellular telephone accounts and a PayPal account had been compromised. Authorities believed the suspect, Cepeda, used the personal identifying information contained in the bag to conduct “take-overs” of their accounts. He then changed billing addresses and ordered new debit cards in order to use their accounts for unlawful purposes.
Based on the information provided by the victims and other evidence, Cepeda was identified as the suspect in other identity thefts. Members of the Regional Gang Unit assisted detectives in serving a search warrant at Cepeda’s apartment located in the 3500 block of Tripp Drive. Numerous items from the theft were found in the apartment, as well as evidence of his receipt of the newly issued debit cards.
Cepeda was taken into custody a short distance away following a traffic stop. He was booked into the Washoe County jail for felony identity theft, unlawful use of a credit card and obtaining money under false pretenses. His bail is set at $35,000.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call 328-3320 or remain anonymous by calling Secret Witness at 322-4900, report online at www.secretwitness.com or text the tip to 847411 (tip 411) keyword “SW.”
The sheriff’s office reminds residents to maintain regular audits of their accounts and immediately report any suspicious activity on their accounts.