Laguna Detectives Arrest Man Suspected of Stealing Over $585K

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Jose Angel Martinez Casillas

In November 2016, a Laguna Beach resident reported to the Laguna Beach Police Department that he had been the victim of check fraud. Detectives began an investigation, which revealed that the victim’s maintenance repair man, Jose Angel Martinez Casillas, was the suspect.

After a lengthy investigation, which included interviewing several involved parties and authoring 12 search warrants to several businesses and banks, detectives determined that Casillas had cashed/deposited 56 stolen checks over a six-month period, totaling $431,580, and was also responsible for 41 fraudulent electronic transactions totaling $154,016.74, for a total loss of $585,596.74.

A felony arrest warrant, which included 98 felony counts (forgery, grand theft, and burglary) was issued for Casillas, and Laguna Beach detectives took Casillas safely into custody on Sept. 6.

“The assigned detectives in this case did an outstanding job,” said LBPD Sgt. Jim Cota. “They collaborated with the OCDA’s office and conducted a thorough and lengthy investigation that yielded numerous charges. It was a great feeling for the detectives to locate Mr. Casillas this morning and put an end to his criminal activity.”

 

Sunday, Sept. 9

Drunk driving. 1:30 a.m. 500 block of Glenneyre Street. A 26-year-old Dana Point resident was arrested for DUI and held for $2,500.

Saturday, Sept. 8

Traffic stop. 12 a.m. 2200 block of Laguna Canyon Road. A 24-year-old Laguna Hills resident was arrested for DUI and held for $2,500 bail.

Traffic stop. 12:06 a.m. Blue Lagoon and Coast Highway. A 53-year-old Placentia woman was arrested for DUI and held for $2,500 bail.

Traffic stop. 1:24 a.m. Anita Street and South Coast Highway. A 35-year-old Aliso Viejo man was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and held for $2,500 bail.

Foot patrol. 8:57 p.m. 3200 block of Alta Laguna Boulevard. Anaheim resident Jose Brian Mendozaruiz, 21, was arrested for an outstanding warrant and held for $15,000 bail.

Traffic stop. 11:33 p.m. 900 block of Laguna Canyon Road. A 23-year-old Garden Grove woman was arrested for DUI and held for $2,500 bail.

Traffic stop. 11:56 p.m. Broadway Street. A 61-year-old Anaheim woman was arrested for DUI and held for $2,500 bail.

Friday, Sept. 7

Traffic stop. 12:22 a.m. 20600 block of Laguna Canyon Road. A 26-year-old Fountain Valley man was arrested for DUI and held for $2,500 bail.

Traffic stop. 2:25 a.m. Montage Resort Drive and Coast Highway. A 23-year-old Newport Beach woman was arrested for DUI and held for $2,500 bail.

Traffic stop. 2:45 a.m. Broadway Street. A 24-year-old Trabuco Canyon man was arrested for DUI and held for $2,500 bail.

Attempt to locate. 2:12 p.m. 500 block of Forest Avenue. Police located a suspect from an earlier garage fire and arrested Laguna Beach transient Jermaine Austin Sterling, 33, for felony arson. Sterling was held for $250,000 bail.

Thursday, Sept. 6

Drunk driving. 10:05 p.m. El Toro Road and Laguna Canyon Road. A 56-year-old Laguna Beach resident was arrested for DUI and held for $2,500.

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