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Three arrested in alleged mail theft

Mail belonging to more than 100 victims found in motel, car, police say.

October 17, 2013|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com
  • Cherrie Bognot was arrested on suspicion of allegedly stealing mail belonging to more than 100 victims from throughout Los Angeles County.
Cherrie Bognot was arrested on suspicion of allegedly… (Courtesy of the…)

Two women and a man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to stealing mail belonging to more than 100 victims from throughout Los Angeles County.

Glendale police discovered the stolen mail Sunday during a search of a car and room at the Motel Sakura in the 1500 block of East Colorado Street, where Mylene Florendo, 26, Michael Verador, 33, and Cherrie Bognot, 33, were staying, according to Glendale police spokeswoman Tahnee Lightfoot.

Police have identified seven victims who live in Redondo Beach, Los Angeles and Van Nuys, she added.

Bognot and Florendo face charges for identity theft and receiving stolen property, said Shiara Dávila-Morales, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney.

Florendo is also charged with forgery, theft and possessing a controlled substance, she added.

Verador, who police said is a parolee, was charged with carrying a dagger. He has a previous felony conviction for first-degree burglary, Dávila-Morales said.

The investigation into the mail theft began early Sunday after an officer approached the trio outside the motel and discovered Verador was on parole for burglary, Lightfoot said.

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Soon after, police searched the trio’s vehicle and reportedly found a large quantity of mail. Once they discovered the mail, officers searched the motel room and found more mail, as well as credit and Social Security cards, police said.

They also seized burglary tools, computer software used to create bogus checks, methamphetamine and narcotic paraphernalia.

The trio was arrested on suspicion of allegedly stealing mail and identity theft.

The trio is scheduled to appear Oct. 24 in the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Burbank to discuss their preliminary hearing.

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Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.

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