Police Arrest Fraud Suspects

Written by Estero Bay News

August 30, 2020

Morro Bay Police arrested a pair of suspected identity thieves on various theft and fraud charges as well as illegal possession of firearms.

According to a news release at 12:24 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12 police were sent to Motel 6 on Atascadero Road for a report of a man in a silver Mercedes in the parking lot holding a rifle.

Officers found the suspect vehicle when they arrived and connected it to a man and woman from San Francisco. The man was on probation, with a clause authorizing a search of his person, vehicle or domicile.

“During a search of the silver Mercedes,” police said, “officers located brass knuckles, a replica rifle, multiple credit cards with names not belonging to the suspects, numerous associated receipts, and associated stolen property; and cash totaling $2,950 were discovered inside of the vehicle. Based on the stolen receipts recovered, $11,888.96 in losses are determined.”

The suspects, Steven Josef Banfi, 32 and Danielle Raquel Quijada, 28 both of San Francisco were arrested and charged with suspicion of Penal Code
530.5(A) — use of another’s personal identification cards to obtain credit cards for theft (I.D. theft); PC 496(A) — receiving/concealing stolen property greater than $950 (grand theft); and PC 530.5(c)(3) — possession of personal identity of more than 10 people

Both were booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail but didn’t stay long. “Both suspects were released within 24 hours because of the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court updated Emergency Bail Schedule, presumption of zero dollars bail,” police said.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone who has information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Morro Bay Police Department (805) 772-6225 or Crime Stoppers at (805) 549-STOP.

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