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2 parolees caught w/phony credit cards in IE

Erik Baca, 27, of Los Angeles and Javier Lopez, 42, of San Juan Capistrano face burglary and credit card fraud charges for allegedly using counterfeit credit cards at various desert casinos to obtain large cash advances. (Photos courtesy of Sherriff-Coroner, Riverside County)
November 28, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Two parolees accused of using counterfeit credit cards at four desert casinos were arrested on Sunday.Erik Baca, 27, of Los Angeles and Javier Lopez, 42, of San Juan Capistrano face burglary and credit card fraud charges. Lopez is a previously deported felon.

Riverside County Sheriff's officials said the two men used counterfeit credit cards to get large cash advances from three casinos and tried to pull of the same crime at a fourth.

Nordstrom Visa alerted Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage of a fraudulent transaction that happened in the casino around 4:30 a.m. Saturday. Security personnel at other nearby casinos were then alerted to the situation.

At around 10 a.m., surveillance cameras caught the two suspects trying to use the counterfeit cards to withdraw money at Fantasy Springs Resort.

Deputies arrested Baca and Lopez before they could make off with the cash. They were booked at a jail in Indio and were held without bail.

Authorities searched Lopez's home and found additional counterfeit cards and equipment for making such cards.

The case was under investigation, and other charges may be added.

Anyone with information can contact Rancho Mirage police at (760) 836-1600.

City News Service contributed to this report.


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