For release on November 13, 2013
Deputy District Attorney
High Tech Crimes Unit
Two local women face felony identity theft charges after being found with a haul of mail stolen from several Bay area counties and personal information from patients of an East Bay breast cancer care center.
One patient told police she had been a victim of ID theft earlier on the same day last week that the defendants, Salina Soriano and Regina Kennedy, were arrested in a Santa Clara hotel.
Soriano, 37, of San Jose, and Kennedy, 36, a transient, were arraigned on Nov. 8. Their next court date is Nov. 26. Both remain in custody in lieu of $165,000 bail. If convicted, they face eight years of incarceration.
“This case highlights the virulence of identity theft,” said Jennifer Deng, the deputy district attorney who is prosecuting the case. “All of us should be vigilant about protecting our personal information.”
On November 5, Santa Clara Police officers responded to the Avatar Hotel on a report that two suspects had rented a room with a fraudulent credit card.
A search of the room yielded stolen mail as well as ledgers and notebooks containing the personal information of more than 100 people. Among the evidence were several sheets of paper filled with the names and information of a group of women, all of whom had been born the same year. Investigators later determined the information belonged to patients of the Summit/Alta Bates breast cancer center.
The suspects were arrested, other victims were identified, and some of the mail returned.
When investigators tracked down 15 of the women who were Cancer Center patients, most said they had already been victimized.
The U.S. Postal Service is aiding the ongoing investigation and is contacting victims from Alameda to Santa Cruz counties.###