Santa Paula Times

VCSD: Fanny pack, NYPD badge
returned to victim after Ojai theft

August 26, 2015
Santa Paula News

A Santa Paula man was arrested last week in connection with stealing a fanny pack full of credit cards and the victim’s late father’s police badge from an unlocked vehicle at the Ojai farmers market.

According to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, the fanny pack—containing the credit cards and the victim’s late father’s New York Police Department flat badge—was stolen July 26 from the unlocked vehicle in the parking lot.

Later that same day the victim’s credit cards were used in Ventura and Oxnard. 

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office released surveillance footage of the 28-year-old Santa Paulan fraudulently using the credit cards to purchase food and the public was able to help identify him.

According to the VCSD, “Detectives working this case received numerous phone calls from several citizens who recognized the suspect and provided his name.”

The man turned himself into police about 8 a.m. August 17 and was arrested in connection with identity theft. 

He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor identity theft two days later in Ventura County Superior Court and is awaiting sentencing.

The fanny pack and father’s New York Police Department badge were recovered and returned to the victim.

The VCSD issued a statement noting they would “like to thank the public for their help in solving this case, which led to the recovery of a very sentimental piece of property.”

Leaving a vehicle unlocked with personal property is known as a crime of opportunity; law enforcement urges people not to leave valuables in their vehicles and to always lock their vehicles.