5 Lancaster residents arrested for stealing Puerto Rican identities
Five Lancaster residents have been charged with stealing identities from residents in Puerto Rico and using them to obtain driver's licenses in Lancaster County.
State police arrested the five people Thursday without incident. They are:
Marcos D. Utrera-Ayala, 33, of Lancaster.
Alfredo Concha-Avendano, 26, of Mountville.
Alfredo Concha-Reyes, 61, of Lancaster.
Ruthy Concha-Avendano, 38, of Lancaster.
Maria A. Avendano-Olivero, 58, of Lancaster.
The five people charged were born in Mexico, according to criminal complaints.
They all face charges of forgery, identity theft, licensing violations, tampering with public records and providing false reports.
Marcos Utrera-Ayala submitted a birth certificate and social security card from a stolen identity in 2003, according to a criminal complaint.
On Aug. 9, 2013, Utrera-Ayala was arrested by the Department of Homeland Security in Lancaster city for an immigration violation, according to the complaint.
Utrera-Ayala then admitted to using a stolen identity and confessed to paying $500 in Lancaster for the stolen identity.
Utrera-Ayala bought four cars between 2012 and 2014, according to the complaint.
The four others who have been accused used stolen identities to get driver's licenses from 2010-2014.
From there, "They attempted to forge anything you would need," state trooper Ryan Lawrence said.
"By taking someone else's identity, it gives them an ability to function in every day life here," Lawrence said. "Living that way, it always catches up with them."
Brimmer's Licensing Service and PennDOT alerted state police vehicle fraud investigators after the accused used different fraudulent names to renew a license.
Lawrence said PennDOT commonly relays information to police regarding vehicle fraud.
"It's always being investigated," Lawrence said.
Lawrence added that the accused used their own money to make purchases.
Some of them also held jobs in the county, Lawrence said.
The businesses that employed them will not face charges, according to Lawrence.
"They checked all they were required to," Lawrence said of the employers.
He added that all agencies involved, including banks and employers, were cooperative in the investigation.
Alfredo Concha-Avendano, Maria Avendano-Olivero, Alfredo Concha-Reyes, Marcos Utrera-Ayala are all in Lancaster County Prison in lieu of bail amounts ranging from $5,000 to $50,000, according to court documents.
Ruthy Concha-Avendano is free on $15,000 unsecured bail.