A Sheriff’s deputy stumbled upon an alleged identity theft ring out of Barstow after making a traffic stop in Arroyo Grande.
According to the Sheriff’s Sgt. Kevin Norris, deputies out of the South Station in Oceano stopped the suspicious vehicle on Thursday, June 8 at about 1:45 p.m. in the 600 block of Mesa Dr., Arroyo Grande.
According to Sgt. Norris’ news release, the deputy got suspicious of the vehicle when he realized it had two different license plates, and further suspicion arose when it was discovered that neither plate belonged with the vehicle. Inside were a man and woman, both from Barstow, Calif.
“Further investigation by the deputy,” Sgt. Norris said, “led to a search of the vehicle, which resulted in the arrest of the male driver and female passenger for various charges.”
According to the news release, the search uncovered “multiple stolen access cards, stolen checks, illegal narcotics, narcotics paraphernalia, shaved car keys [which are used for vehicle thefts], a lock pick set, and a Billy Club.” Needless to say, they were both arrested.
The driver, Christopher Mongenel, 43 of Barstow, was arrested and booked into County Jail for suspicion of possession of a Billy Club, possession of a controlled substance, possession of narcotic paraphernalia, and possession of burglary tools.
The female passenger, Anna Applegate, 39 of Barstow, was arrested and booked into County Jail for suspicion of possession/theft of identifying information of 10 or more persons.