Identity theft suspects nabbed

GLENDALE — A couple are scheduled to be arraigned Monday on charges that they had more than 200 blank access cards and fraudulent credit account paperwork for celebrities such as Tim Burton and Tommy Lee Jones, police said.

Ex-convict Christopher Herrick, 43, and Traci Godlef, 42, were taken into custody about 11:17 p.m. Wednesday at the Glen Capri Inns and Suites in Glendale on suspicion of identity theft and forgery, according to police reports.

Inside the motel, police also reported finding a credit history report with a Van Nuys address and the name "Gaylord Focker," a character in the film "Meet the Fockers."

Herrick was among the low-risk inmates released early as part of the state's effort to ease prison overcrowding, cut costs and — with no active parole supervision — reduce overtime for parole agents.

"This is a prime example of how the state is putting parolees back on the street and into already cash-strapped local communities," Glendale Police Chief Ron De Pompa said.

Herrick and Godlef had been living at the motel in the 300 block of Lafayette Street, where police have contacted several gang members and parolees.

A patrol officer spotted Herrick standing near a Ford Explorer outside the motel when he asked him whether he was on parole, according to police reports.

Herrick admitted that he had a hypodermic needle inside his pants pocket, according to police reports. The officer also reported finding a cigarette box containing a baggie with black tar heroin.

A search of the Explorer also yielded a baggie containing methamphetamine, according to police reports.

When police searched the motel room, they reported finding

computer equipment, including printers, scanners and hard drives, police said.

A stolen identification card had already been reprinted onto a plastic card, police said.

Herrick was reportedly released from prison on irrevocable parole for embezzlement, Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

In May, Glendale police started using a new tool that allows officers to keep records of parolees they stop and their addresses. The system also keeps details on the parolee's physical characteristics, crimes committed, vehicle descriptions, gang affiliation and photographs.

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