Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko announced that Theresa Valdenegro 46 year-old of Chile, and her son, Samir Valdenegro 21 year-old, of Chile, both suspected members of the South American Theft Group, have pled guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit identity theft and four felony counts of identity theft. 

On January 8, 2022, the Valdenegros stole the victim’s purse from her shopping cart at a store in Camarillo, and subsequently used the victim’s credit cards at Best Buy stores in Oxnard and Thousand Oaks. 

An investigation by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Special Enforcement Unit led law enforcement to a Los Angeles hotel where the Valdenegros were arrested. Inside their hotel room, detectives found gift cards, purses and other property believed to be stolen. Additionally, passports and paperwork bearing their names were found and materials to manufacture fraudulent identifications.

Theresa Valdenegro and Samir Valdenegro are scheduled to be sentenced on May 4, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. in courtroom 23 of the Ventura County Superior Court.