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Palm Desert DMV Employee Accused of Stealing Customers' Credit Card Info

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department says the employee used customers' information after they conducted business at the local DMV office.

A Desert Hot Springs man who works at the Palm Desert Department of Motor Vehicles was jailed Thursday on forgery and theft charges, accused of stealing credit card information from customers, sheriff's officials said.

24-year-old Martin Mendoza was arrested Thursday at the DMV office on Technology Drive, according to Sheriff's Sergeant Brad Farwell.

Farwell said that the investigation into Mendoza's alleged criminal activities began after two people— one in January and another in March— reported to police that their credit cards had been stolen and used "immediately after" they had visited the DMV.

"Members of the Palm Desert Station Burglary Suppression Unit (BSU) conducted follow-up investigation and with the assistance of DMV Investigators, identified DMV employee, Martin Mendoza, age 24 of Desert Hot Springs, as the employee who conducted the transactions with both victims," Farwell said.

On Thursday, law enforcement went to the office, and arrested Mendoza while he was working, according to Farwell.  

They took him to the Indio jail, where he was booked in lieu of $5,000 bail, jail records indicated.

april ann April 19, 2013 at 05:49 AM
Ugh...the humiliation of being arrested while at work at a state government office, as a state government employee, during the state government office hours! The police do that for the psychological effects it has on the defendant, and the message it sends to the public. The time, and place of the arrest is completely intentional, and brilliant! If he's completely innocent, maybe it's a law suit waiting to happen. Either way, you gotta love the boys in blue! They know an opportunity when they see one.
Rod Fick April 19, 2013 at 06:33 PM
Good riddance from the public payrolls I say. Gee, how sad. Mr. Mendoza just wasn't able to get by on the salary and benefits the State of California pays to him. Maybe his union can picket for a pay raise; I'm sure they'll rush to defend him when (or if) he is fired. With all the people out of work, here we have a marvelous example of today's 'greed'.
Ron Moon April 19, 2013 at 08:49 PM
I am no fan of Work Unions but where in the story are they mentioned? If Senor Marteen Mendoza is found guilty of the charges, I hope our Justice System gives him the Maximum Sentence allowed with no plea bargain.
Dean April 20, 2013 at 10:33 AM
I would assume that someone hired to work at the DMV would have to submit to a strict background check before being hired. Is that not the case here? Or, did Mr. Mendoza somehow slip through the cracks? I take for granted that when I visit the DMV, the person working behind the counter isn't a thief. Obviously, I'm naïve.

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