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Crime Report: Traffic stop leads to discovery of marijuana, multiple credit and debit cards

La Cañada Flintridge

Feb. 6

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Reasonable cause possession of account info/ID card; driving on a suspended license; possession of marijuana: Deputies spotted a 2005 Jaguar S-Type at 2:48 a.m. driving southbound on Oakwood without its lights on and conducted a traffic stop on the 600 block of Berkshire Avenue.

The driver, a 35-year-old Los Angeles man, admitted he did not have a California driver's license in his possession. Smelling the strong odor of marijuana, the deputy detained the man and his passenger pending a narcotics investigation.

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After searching for more information on the suspect, the deputy learned he had a suspended license and two outstanding warrants. A search of the vehicle turned up a plastic bottle containing a green, leafy substance and multiple bank and debit cards belonging to names of other people.

The man explained his partner had given him one of the cards and a paper with the cardholder's information so he could "flag the mailbox," or take mail from the cardholder to obtain more information. He said his partner uses the information to buy items using the card. He said the other cards belonged to relatives and confirmed he did not have a prescription for the marijuana.

Deputies tried to contact the cardholder, whose residence was listed on the 4200 block of Oakwood, but the house was vacant and the phone number disconnected.

Feb. 7

Forgery, fictitious checks: 4200 block of Oakwood Avenue. A woman told deputies that in January, while she was balancing her business checkbook, she noticed an oddly numbered check had been issued to a name she did not recognize.

The victim called her bank and learned the check had been cashed in a California check-cashing store. When she reviewed checks cashed from October through December, she noticed several more fraudulent checks had been issued in the name of her business. Meanwhile, several checks the woman had written to her employees were never processed.

Deputies observed the obvious difference in the check styles, fonts and signatures and noted that the day before, a suspect was arrested for reasonable cause possession of account information and was found in possession of a note with the victim's name, business name and home address in La Cañada. The victim said she believes that is the same person who created the fictitious checks.

Feb. 8

Identity theft: 4300 block of Chevy Chase Drive. A woman reported receiving a letter from her credit company on Feb. 1 informing her that someone had requested an additional credit card be added in the suspect's name to her account. She immediately contacted the American Express fraud department, where a representative advised her someone had used her and her husband's personal information to gain access to their account. The victim notified credit bureaus to have a fraud report issued.

Feb. 9

Identity theft; theft by access card: 4300 block of Commonwealth Avenue. A woman reported receiving a call on Feb. 1 from Citibank, the first of several calls she would receive informing her of attempted suspicious transactions on her MasterCard. Purchases were made at a Halloween costume store in San Bernardino, an unknown retail store in the city of Orange, and other attempts were made between Feb. 1 and that day.

The victim asked the bank to cancel the card and issue new ones to her and her husband, a secondary holder. The couple told deputies the original cards were in their possession the entire time.

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Sara Cardine, sara.cardine@latimes.com

Twitter: @SaraCardine

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