A 35-year-old Glendale man was arrested this week after a credit-card-making kit and counterfeit credit cards were found hidden inside his vehicle's engine compartment, police said.
John Latiolias and two other men — Marc Cuneo, 51, and Loris Masihiapanosian, 32— were booked early Wednesday on suspicion of identity theft, according to Glendale police spokeswoman Tahnee Lightfoot.
The men were released later as detectives continued to investigate the complex case and sift through a significant amount of evidence, she added. Detectives are trying to locate additional victims and plan to present charges to prosecutors.
Detectives stopped Latiolias after they saw him carrying a backpack and talking to a suspected drug user outside of an apartment building in the 1600 block of East Broadway, Lightfoot said.
They soon discovered he was on felony probation for identity theft and carrying paperwork with possibly stolen credit-card information, she said.
In April 2012, Latiolias was convicted of nine counts of identity theft and stealing credit information, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records.
While searching the vehicle, police also found a card reader and more than 20 fraudulent gift and credit cards inside. The vehicle was parked in the same block where officers spotted Latiolias.
Police also found numerous gift card numbers and evidence that Latiolias used the counterfeit cards to make purchases, she said.
Latiolias was immediately arrested and police obtained a warrant to search his apartment, which was also in the neighborhood.
Cuneo and Masihiapanosian were inside the apartment, where detectives found more fraudulent cards, bogus paperwork and a gun, Lightfoot said.