Rob Thornburg, interim North Wilkesboro police chief, announced recent arrests in three cases investigated by Sgt. Shannon Anderson of the department’s criminal investigation division.
In the most recent case, Erica Salinas of Winston-Salem reported to North Wilkesboro police on Jan. 9 that she was a victim of identity theft. Salinas said she applied for assistance at the Forsyth County Department of Social Services and was denied due to making too much money. She stated that a printout of her records wrongly showed she worked for a cleaning company in North Wilkesboro. Anderson said Ada Reina of C Street, North Wilkesboro, had provided the cleaning company with counterfeit documents using Salinas’ identity to obtain employment. Anderson charged Reina with identity theft, two counts of obtaining identification by fraud and 34 counts of obtaining property by false pretenses.
Anderson said Todd Swofford of SJS Development Group in North Wilkesboro on Dec. 31 reported that three unauthorized company checks were cashed at Fuelex in Wilkesboro. The checks were made to Daryl Sharpe of North Wilkesboro, said Anderson. According to Anderson, Sharpe admitted taking the checks while he was doing electrical work for the company and said he did so because he wasn’t selected as the contractor to do a larger job. Sharpe was charged with three counts apiece of forgery of notes, uttering forged notes, obtaining property by false pretenses and misdemeanor larceny.
Benita Benitez-Cruz of Swain Street, North Wilkesboro reported an identity theft incident to North Wilkesboro police on Nov. 30. Anderson said Benitez-Cruz reported that she applied for assistance at the Wilkes Department of Social Services and was denied due to making too much money. Benitez-Cruz said she hadn’t worked at places listed on a printout of her records. Anderson reported that an investigation resulted in Sandra Quezada of Linwood being charged with identity theft, two counts of obtaining identification by fraud and 10 counts of obtaining property by false pretenses and identity theft.