4 Arrested in Retail Theft Bust in Irvine

4 Arrested in Retail Theft Bust in Irvine

From left, Maria Beltran, Thonson Yeamier Gomezbarreto, Laidy Viviana Moraleon, and William Alberto Melomontenegro. (Irvine Police Department)

California Insider Staff

California Insider Staff

3/29/2024

Updated: 3/29/2024

Four people were arrested March 22 on suspicion of theft after they were caught with a stolen wallet and a credit card decoding device, the Irvine Police Department said in a statement on March 27.
Police identified the suspects as Maria Beltran, 52, of North Hollywood; Thonson Yeamier Gomezbarreto, 32, also of North Hollywood; Laidy Viviana Moraleon, 36, of Los Angeles; and William Alberto Melomontenegro, 38, also of Los Angeles.
The incident occurred March 22 as officers were on surveillance at the HomeGoods store in Woobury Town Center. .
Officers saw the two men and two women approaching a sedan. One of the men tried to hide the temporary license plate by folding it.
“The group was walking briskly and kept looking over their shoulder as if they were making sure nobody was following them,” police said in the statement. “One of the males began to manipulate the rear temporary license plate of the vehicle by folding it up so it was not readable.”
Officers followed the car to the Irvine Spectrum, then stopped it and searched the vehicle. They found a wallet and a device that is used to decode credit card information. They then confirmed with the wallet’s owner that it was missing from her purse after she’d been shopping at HomeGoods.
“Luckily, the suspects were not able to use her credit cards before being caught,” police said.
Video footage showed the two men and two women tried to steal a wallet from another victim but were unsuccessful, police said.
Police said all four suspects were arrested and taken into custody at the Orange County Jail.
They face charges of burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, grand theft, and possession of identity theft material.
Anyone with more information can call the Irvine Police Department at 949-724-7000.
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