The Modesto Police Department is seeking the public’s help identifying and locating three women suspected of stealing rent checks from multiple property management companies in the San Joaquin Valley and cashing them in Nevada.
One of their accomplices, Merced resident Jimmy Bocanegra, 29, was caught April 29 while attempting to cash one of the stolen checks in Sparks, Nev.
Modesto Police Department spokeswoman Heather Graves said the group is suspected of at least two burglaries in Modesto in March and April, as well as burglaries in Turlock and possibly Stockton and Manteca.
She said the suspects accessed after-hours rent drop boxes at property management businesses to steal checks and money orders. They altered them, then took them to check cashing businesses in Nevada.
Detectives traced some of the stolen checks and money orders to the Nevada businesses where they obtained surveillance of the suspects. Graves said at least one of the women also was captured on surveillance during the most recent Modesto burglary at a property management office on Wylie Drive.
Modesto Police posted surveillance photos of the women on the department’s Facebook page Wednesday and by Thursday has identified one of them as Stephanie Marie Phillips, however, she has not yet been located.
Anyone with information about the other two women’s identities or Phillip’s wearabouts is asked to call call Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers at 209-521-4636. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.