Two suspects arrested in mail theft, identity fraud case in Taylorsville

Jose Luis Castillo and Brittany Jean Hernandez. Photos: Salt Lake County

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah, Oct. 10, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Unified Police officials have arrested two people in connection with mail thefts in Salt Lake County.

Brittany Jean Hernandez, 29, and Jose Luis Castillo, 35, each face a charge of identify fraud — value exceeding $5,000, a second-degree felony.

Castillo faces two additional charges: Fugitive from justice, warrant of arrest, a second-degree felony; and failure to stop at command of a law enforcement officer, a class A misdemeanor.

Castillo’s probable cause statement says a rash of residential mail thefts began in and near Taylorsville on Saturday, Oct. 6.

“Officers located several streets where mailboxes were left open, and mail was strewn all over the streets,” the statement says. “Officers collected the mail belonging to 16 different alleged victims. This mail appears to have been removed by the suspect(s) from the victim’s mailboxes, and discarded on the street. Home security video shows a male and female couple walking on opposite side of the street and checking mailboxes.”

Just before 2 a.m. Wednesday, a complainant called police about a suspicious couple matching the description of the suspects being sought.

“Police located streets surrounding the complaint had mailboxes left open, and surrounded the area,” the probable cause statement says.

“Police located the male on foot at approx. 3896 W. Brixton Road, and upon attempted contact, the AP (accused person) fled, was subsequently caught and arrested.”

The male suspect, later identified as Castillo, “was carrying a bag full of mail, and had additional mail stuffed in his jacket and pockets,” the statement said, noting the address on the mail matched the area of the theft.

Castillo’s suspected accomplice, Hernandez, was spotted a short distance away, carrying a satchell of mail from multiple addresses, the statement says.

The mail was determined to come from “at least 60 addresses, and included 11 government issued identification cards, 13 financial cards, one social security card, four vehicle titles, one immigration application, papers containing handwritten account information, handwritten Internet passwords, various paperwork issued to the AP, including new social security card applications, and financial card information; all of which appears to be just from last night,” the probable cause statement says.

“The AP was also in possession of 21 checks, 10 of which are blank and the other 11 total just under $24,000, all written out to the AP.”

Post-Miranda, Castillo admitted he tried to electronically cash two checks with his cell phone for financial gain, the statement says.

Castillo is from Texas, the statement said, so poses a flight risk. A probable cause for Hernandez, which is nearly identical to that of Castillo, suggests she is also from Texas.

Both are being held without bail in the Salt Lake County Jail.


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