The individual killed in a fatal traffic accident yesterday afternoon (September 22) in Hickory has…
37-year-old Natalie Rowles, 22-year-old Javlera Vejera, and 22-year-old Salome Aracelly Jara-Madriaza have all been arrested by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputies on charges of larceny, obtaining property by false pretenses, identity theft, and more. The three are accused of stealing a woman’s purse and using her credit cards to purchase gift cards.
On August 2, Deputies were dispatched to the Publix store in Denver, North Carolina where a customer told Officers that she was distracted by a Hispanic female while another woman stole her purse from her grocery cart. The women left the scene and went to the Walmart store on N.C. Highway 73 where they purchased gift cards with the stolen credit and debit cards.
A short time later the three suspects returned to the Publix where they were confronted by the store manager. The women fled the store on foot, leaving behind a white Hyundai Sonata with the motor running. Deputies arrived and took the suspects into custody following a foot chase. They were all booked as “Jane Doe” and held without bond until they could be identified.
A search of the vehicle turned up approximately 300 gift cards with an estimated value of $200,000. As the vehicle was searched, three Hispanic males arrived and attempted to claim the Hyundai. Detectives detained the men for further questioning and were given consent to search their vehicle. That search turned up several Western Union receipts indicating that large amounts of money had been wired to Chile. The vehicle was impounded after Deputies learned that none of the men had a valid driver’s license.
The female suspects remain in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under the names listed above, which they provided. Rowles has a court date coming up tomorrow (August 9). Vejera is due in court on August 24. No court date is currently listed for Jara-Madriaza.
Detectives are currently looking for the three men, who they describe as persons of interest. They are 26-year-old Santiago Benitez, 27-year-old Ignacio Andres Vasques Saldivia, and 24-year-old Javier Gomez Gonzalez.
As their investigation continued, Detectives learned that the three men and three women had allegedly committed the same type of crimes across the southeastern United States. Three of the suspects are said to be part of a South America theft group, according to authorities in Florida and Georgia. The investigation is ongoing with additional charges pending in several other states.