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Crime Lines: Customer service thwarts ID theft

Crime Lines: Customer service thwarts  ID theft

Employee follows up online order to catch three for using stolen identify to buy furniture


VISALIA – Good customer service is the foundation of any businesses’ financial sustainability. And in some cases, having employees who go the extra mile can save both the customer and the servicer a lot of money.

A Visalia furniture store received an online order for furniture on Nov. 27. But when they contacted the name on the credit card, the account holder said they did not place the order. The employee then canceled the order and reported the identity theft to the Visalia Police Department. When the suspects called in an attempt to order directly from the store, detectives with the Property Crimes Unit directed the employee to allow the suspects to place the order.

At about 5:45 p.m. a woman and two men arrived at the warehouse in Visalia’s Industrial Park to pick up the order. All three were taken into custody and a search of the vehicles found additional evidence linking them to the identity theft. Officers arrested 32-year-old Nichol Newbold, 34-year-old Cruz Diaz, and 32-year-old Miguel Valero-Cuevas. All three suspects were booked into the Tulare County Jail.

Nichol Newbold

Nichol Newbold

Miguel Valero-Cruz

Miguel Valero-Cruz

Cruz Dias

Cruz Dias










Visalia Police Log

Wednesday, Nov. 21
Police are still searching for a man who robbed a gas station at gunpoint. The crime happened just before midnight at Valley Gas and Food, 1440 N. Dinuba Blvd. Clerks told officers an unknown male between the ages of 19 and 29 entered the business, produced a handgun, and demanded money from an employee. The employee gave the suspect an undetermined amount of U.S. currency before the suspect left the business on foot. Officers have obtained surveillance video from the store and are actively investigating this incident. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Visalia Police Department at 734-8117.

Friday, Nov. 30
Breaking into store were local law enforcement buy their uniforms is probably not the smartest plan, but that didn’t stop a suspect last week. At 6:02 a.m. an unidentified suspect broke the front window of Beatwear, 411 W. Main St., to get into the store. Once inside, the suspect stole clothing and other miscellaneous property before fleeing on foot. The suspect was not located. If anyone has information regarding this incident, they are urged to contact the Visalia Police Department at 559-734-8117.

Saturday, Dec. 1
At 2:35 p.m., officers attempted to stop a stolen vehicle that was southbound on Conyer Street from Mineral King Avenue. The vehicle fled westbound on Tulare and almost struck another car. Officers stopped pursuing the vehicle and it turned southbound in the northbound lanes of Mooney Blvd. The driver and passenger, later identified as 23-year-old Jose Mendoza and 28-year-old Edgar Corona, fled from the vehicle they parked in the T-Mobile parking lot. Corona was apprehended at Starbucks across the street. Mendoza fled to an apartment complex on south Central. He then tried to jump from a second story balcony and was apprehended after landing. Both were booked at Tulare County Pre-Trial for various crimes. The vehicle was later turned over to the owner.

Sunday, Dec. 2
At 12:54 a.m. at Jack in the Box, 1400 N. Ben Maddox Way, officers responded to an armed robbery that had just occurred. It was determined that an unknown suspect, armed with a handgun, had robbed the business of an undetermined amount of cash. The suspect fled prior to police arrival. No injuries were reported. The case is being forwarded to the Violent Crimes Unit for follow-up. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Anonymous Tip Line at 559-713-4738.

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