Walter Mencken 6:15 p.m., Feb. 28
Woman reportedly shared a baby picture while attempting check fraud
Suspect shared photo of her one-year-old son, detective said
A beautiful young Latina woman reportedly shared a baby photo, saved in her cell phone, with a bank teller before she abandoned her efforts to cash a stolen check and left the bank, last summer.
A bank teller at Chase Bank said Priscilla Maria Lopez came in June 5, 2012, and wanted to cash a check for $600. The check was made out to Priscilla Lopez, and the lovely young woman with long, black hair showed a California driver’s license and a “benefits card” as identification. While conversing with the bank teller, the 25-year-old woman said that the check was intended for her son named Isaiah, and she shared a photo of her one-year-old child which she had in her phone.
The bank teller went to verify the signature, and she noticed that the signature on the check did not match that of the account holder, on the signature card the bank had on file for that account. About that time, Priscilla Maria Lopez’ cell phone began to ring, and she told the teller she “had to take the call” and she walked out of the bank.
San Diego County Sheriff’s detective William Clem said he collected that check and bank surveillance video and contacted the account holder. The woman named on the account stated that her wallet and checkbook and other items had been stolen from her car on June 3, 2012. She said her car was parked in the driveway of her home in Vista, and the items were taken from the map holder slot in the driver’s side door, according to Detective Clem.
The detective said photos selected from surveillance video captured on June 5, 2012, at the Chase Bank at 1641 South Melrose Drive in Vista, showed a woman with long, dark hair attempting to cash a check, and showing her cell phone to a teller.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s crime lab positively identified a fingerprint lifted from that check as a match to the known fingerprints of Priscilla Maria Lopez, the detective said in court today.
A public defender asked the judge to reduce the felony fraud and burglary charges to misdemeanors, since the bank did not actually suffer any financial loss in this case. Judge Sim von Kalinowski noticed Lopez’ prior theft convictions, including auto theft and other felonies, before he denied that request.
Priscilla Maria Lopez, 25, pleads not guilty to new fraud and burglary charges, and is next expected in San Diego County Superior court on March 18, 2013.
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