Police find 53 stolen ID cards, 3 charged

May 23, 2012 12:00 PM
By MADELINE BUCKLEY/The Brownsville Herald

Brownsville police arrested three people over the weekend in connection with a longterm burglary investigation, and subsequently discovered 53 stolen identification cards.

Officers in the auto-theft division began surveillance on the area near the 3500 block of International Boulevard, due to a tip from an informant about a suspected ring of vehicle burglars, Brownsville police spokesman J.J. Trevino said.

After several days of surveillance, officers stopped a couple, Enrique Armando Velez and Zayra Elisa Villegas, driving a black Ford mustang. The pair allowed officers to search their residence on the 4200 block of Southmost Road.

At the residence, officers encountered a third suspect, Alma Zamarripa, as she left the apartment, Trevino said.

Upon searching the apartment, officers found only two purses that Villegas admitted were stolen from various vehicles around the city.

But police soon found the stash of 53 identification cards that Zamarripa had placed in her vehicle outside the apartment.

Villegas said the cards, which included driver's licenses, passports, social security cards, border crossing cards and Mexican visas, were stolen in vehicle burglaries.

Trevino said police are still investigating to determine how the couple was using the cards and if more people are involved in the burglary ring.

Villegas and Velez are charged with fraudulent possession of identifying information and Zamarripa faces a charge of tampering with evidence.

But Villegas and Velez could be charged with at least 18 vehicle burglaries in the city, pending further investigation, Trevino said.

Police ask the public to contact the Special Investigations Unit of the Brownsville Police Department at (956) 548-7144 if they have experienced a car burglary in which identification was stolen.

Police find 53 stolen ID cards, 3 charged | cards, police, villegas - Brownsville Herald