Sheriff's Office

PR #:
2000169
Date Issued:
Dec 16, 2020 - 2:10PM

For Immediate Release

Observant citizens lead to arrest of large scale mail theft, identity theft, check fraud scammer

Contact:
Sarah Johns
Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Office: 775-785-6235
Cell: 775-391-0407

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputies have arrested 36-year-old Hector Salinas of Sparks in a large-scale mail theft and check fraud case, thanks to alert citizens in the Hidden Valley neighborhood.

Deputies were originally called by construction workers in the area stating they witnessed a suspicious vehicle driving through Hidden Valley. The driver and passenger of that vehicle reportedly stopped at multiple residences and were witnessed stealing mail. Deputies responded to the area but were unable to locate the vehicle. Deputies engaged with neighbors who were walking in the area and asked for those neighbors to call if the vehicle was seen again.  Shortly thereafter, neighbors identified the suspect vehicle and were able to tell deputies its exact location.

Upon making a traffic stop, deputies saw multiple Nevada drivers licenses, checks, and mail strewn over the vehicle’s dashboard, backseat, and console. They also located an accordion file folder filled with identifying documents of 34 different individuals, stolen mail, an owner’s manual to a credit card embosser, multiple fake drivers licenses, check stock paper, and fraudulent checks.

Salinas originally provided deputies a Nevada drivers license belonging to someone else, and identified himself as that man upon arrest. Once his true identity became known, it was discovered that Salinas was wanted on a parole violation – he was on parole for previous fraud related crimes.

Salinas is currently charged with possessing a fake/fraudulent drivers license, intent to utter a fictitious bill/note/check, using the identity of another to avoid or delay prosecution, and for violating parole.

The driver of the vehicle, Jennifer Penman, was also arrested for possession of a controlled substance less than 14 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving with a suspended drivers license, not having vehicle insurance, and for driving with an expired registration. She has been released on her own recognizance.

The initial on-scene investigation was conducted by Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputies as well as the U.S. Postal Inspector. This is an ongoing investigation, and more charges may be added.

Photo 1: Hector Salinas
Photo 2: Vehicle
Photo 3: Stolen mail found inside vehicle
Photo 4: Check stock paper
Photo 5: Evidence found inside accordion file

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The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.

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