Alameda County DA charges Livermore woman with ID theft

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office this week filed multiple charges against a Livermore woman after a probation search yielded drugs, burglary tools and documents belonging to nearly two dozen Bay Area residents.

Newark police stopped Rechele Montano, 35, near Pumpkinseed Street and Sea Turtle Avenue just before 5:20 p.m. Aug. 26 after noticing expired registration on the 2019 Kia Rio she was driving, Officer John Kapo said in a probable-cause declaration to district attorney staff.

As officers spoke with Montano, she told them she was unlicensed, and a records check showed her license had been suspended and that she was on searchable probation after a November 2019 identity-theft conviction out of Alameda County.

When officers asked her if she was nervous, she “spontaneously stated there were illegal items in [her] vehicle such as drugs and identity theft documents,” Kapo wrote. A search of the car revealed two glass pipes with white powdery residue, a small plastic baggie and a folded paper receipt containing substances that tested positive as methamphetamine.

Officers also found a yellow envelope with multiple pieces of mail, credit cards, pay stubs and personal checks belonging to 25 other people, a black wallet with 13 credit cards, a Social Security card and passport ID card for 13 other people, and a floral-print wallet with credit cards for ten other people, as well as a pink handheld window-breaking tool and a 15-inch crowbar.

Soon after, officers arrested Montano on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving with a suspended license, possession of burglary tools, and identity theft, and booked her into Fremont city jail. Montano was not listed in custody Wednesday evening, according to a county records check.

“One of the victims immediately responded when officers reached out to return her property,” Newark police said in a statement Wednesday. “She was devastated by the theft and was relieved we were able to quickly return her property to her.”

Police reminded residents to take steps against falling victim to would-be thieves, including signing up for the U.S. Postal Service’s informed delivery program, considering identity-theft insurance and a USPS-approved lockbox mail box, avoiding giving out banking or personal identity information in e-mails or texts, checking credit reports at least annually, shredding mail after reading it, and watching for credit-card skimming devices.

Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.

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Author: George Kelly