Five Arrested After Counterfeit Cash Leads Police to Array of Stolen Property

April 5, 2013 9:00 am · 15 comments

One man’s purchase at a Hercules convenience store using counterfeit cash led police to arrest five suspects on suspicion of possessing an array of stolen property and other charges, police said.

Around 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, officers were called to the Cigarettes Cheaper store in the 1500 block of Sycamore Avenue on a report of two men attempting to use counterfeit money, police said.

Officers found the two suspects in front of a Big Lots store and identified them as 27-year-old Justin Conlon of Martinez and Brandon Thomas-Harris, 25, of Hercules, according to police.

Police discovered that Conlon was wanted on a $25,000 felony warrant out of Napa County for possession of stolen property.

Officers also found that Thomas-Harris had three counterfeit $20 bills, had used fake money to buy items at Cigarettes Cheaper and attempted to make another purchase using fraudulent cash, police said. Police said a search of the suspects’ vehicle turned up two large suitcases carrying stolen mail and various documents from 20 different cities, including Concord, Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill.

Conlon was arrested on the outstanding warrant and for alleged possession of stolen property. Thomas-Harris was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property, burglary, possession of counterfeit money and passing counterfeit money.

Both were taken to county jail in Martinez.

As part of the investigation into the incident, police served a search warrant the following day at a home in the 2300 block of Redwood Road, which is associated with one of the suspects, police said. Officers met with two men and one woman at the residence and found what appeared to be illegal narcotics, stolen property and cash.

Police arrested Hercules residents Paul Pena, 36, Carlos Rivera, 63, and Silvia Solorzano, 54, on suspicion of possession of stolen property, drug possession and drug possession for sales, according to police.

The suspects were taken to county jail.

An investigation into all five suspects is ongoing.

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1 babytruck April 5, 2013 at 9:05 AM

AWESOME!!

2 jean April 5, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Awesome way to go

3 Don't Censor Me Bro April 5, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Ah, Cream of ther Crap…

4 In and Out April 5, 2013 at 9:32 AM

It’s a revolving door. They’ll be booked, released and back at it in no time. Only after an innocent person dies will these crooks be caged.

5 TC April 5, 2013 at 10:26 AM

from Martinez? Shocking. NOT

6 jtkatec April 5, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Ah, the tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive.

Sir Walter Scott

7 Don't think so April 5, 2013 at 11:12 AM

@#4, They won’t be booked and released this time because counterfeit is a federal offense. The FBI, and other government agencies have already torn their house apart I can guarantee you. Nope this won’t be a trip to the County and released, not to mention the stolen mail, another federal crime and there’s no parole when you do federal time. Anyway, lets hope.

8 Anon April 5, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Just more illegal aliens here to help the community, not!

9 Howard K Mullins III April 5, 2013 at 11:38 AM

I do wonder how long it will be before we see these same names again as being on probation and under felony warrant and still committing crimes?

10 Anon April 5, 2013 at 12:14 PM

@Howard K Mullins III

As it appears to be the policy of the Federal Department of Prisons and the State Parole Board to release criminals prior to serving their full term, so as to save money by incarcerating them with us, the general population, I’d say not long at all.

Sorry all prisons are a thing of the past. Based on the reports from NYC it is much cheaper to parolee inmates into the general population along with us. After all, we are all criminals or future criminals in the eyes of the state.

11 Connie Dobbs April 5, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Oooo! We hardly ever get to play Guess the Race when the answer is ‘white guys.’ Thanks, Justin and Brandon.

12 Martizian April 5, 2013 at 3:08 PM
13 Kimchee April 5, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Wonder if my mail is in that suitcase……haven’t had any for over 4 days.

14 Don't Censor Me Bro April 5, 2013 at 4:17 PM

@Dts #7- sounds as if you are speculating as to what may play out in this case. CCC prosecutes these types of cases all the time. Feds tend to prosecute the higher profile/dollar loss cases. For example re: ID theft feds prefer losses of $50,000. The investigating agency will take the $5k case to the local DA and request prosecution. So, here we’ll have to see how this one plays out.

15 Walnut Creek resident April 6, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Seems as though these charges could be the tip of the iceberg. Isn’t mail theft a federal crime? We’re also talking likely identity theft as well.

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