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A convicted felon and another man suspected of stealing credit cards, checks and other items to commit identity theft in Temecula were behind bars Friday.
Christopher Keith Sebelius, 31, of Riverside and Albert Peter Avitea, 26, of Moreno Valley were arrested Thursday along with 25-year-old Biancha Sybilla Martinez of Riverside following an investigation by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Sebelius was booked into the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of receiving stolen property, being in possession of burglary tools and identity theft.
He is being held on $50,000 bail.
Avitea was booked into the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning on suspicion of receiving stolen property and a misdemeanor warrant for failure to appear in an unrelated case. He’s being held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
Martinez was booked on suspicion of receiving stolen property and being in possession of a controlled substance.
She posted a $3,500 bond and was released a few hours later.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Gaskins, a deputy patrolling the area of Jefferson Avenue and Via Montezuma about 2 p.m. Thursday spotted the trio in a Ford Explorer parked outside a motel and approached the SUV based on concerns of illicit activity.
After learning Sebelius was on probation, the trio were detained and a check of the vehicle uncovered numerous “credit cards, California driver’s licenses, ID cards, blank business checks, issued cashier’s check, a U.S. passport and other miscellaneous mail and paperwork not addressed to any of the subjects,” Gaskins said.
He said that several laptop computers, tablet devices, mobile phones and other electronics were also seized from the SUV.
According to court records, Sebelius has prior convictions for driving under the influence, receiving stolen property and use of illegal drugs while incarcerated. Avitea has misdemeanor cases pending for alleged driving on a suspended license and being in possession of a controlled substance, records showed.
Martinez has prior misdemeanor convictions for theft of public services, possession of controlled substances and being under the influence of a controlled substance.
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