A probationer who stole mail belonging to dozens of people in Riverside, Los Angeles and San Diego counties as part of an identity theft scheme was sentenced Friday to two years in jail.
Laurence Lennon Bealer, 25, of Hemet pleaded guilty earlier this month to grand theft as part of a plea agreement in which prosecutors dropped four related charges.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Becky Dugan certified the plea deal and imposed the stipulated sentence.
Bealer will serve his time at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.
His co-defendant, 47-year-old Laura Leigh Maynard of Hemet, is charged with three counts of identity theft and one count of possession of controlled substances. She’s being held on $60,000 bail at the Smith jail and is slated for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 13 at the Banning Justice Center.
According to Hemet police Sgt. Bob Nishida, Bealer and Maynard were stopped for a traffic violation the morning of Jan. 29 in the 100 block of Girard Street.
After patrol officers confirmed that Bealer was on probation, they searched the vehicle and uncovered “a large quantity of mail belonging to numerous people,” Nishida said.
The mail contained credit cards, bank checks and other personal documents that the sergeant said could be used to perpetrate identity theft.
A driver’s license was also seized that investigators ultimately determined belonged to a man robbed last November, according to Nishida.
“During the investigation, it was learned that Maynard had attempted to cash at least two checks using the robbery victim’s identity,” he said.
Detectives estimated there were about 150 victims whose mail was stolen throughout the region, according to Nishida.
Court records show that Bealer has prior convictions for identity theft, auto theft and petty theft, while Maynard has priors for fraud, grand theft, receiving stolen property, burglary and identity theft.