Crime

Pair with multiple IDs charged in theft case

Two men were arrested Saturday and charged with theft by deception after an alleged attempt to fraudulently purchase a cell phone failed.

According to the criminal complaint by State College police, an officer responded to the call at about 7 p.m. Saturday at the Best Buy Mobile store in the Nittany Mall. The clerk at the store stated the two men had attempted to fraudulently purchase an iPhone 7, valued at $870.

One of the men, who identified himself as Raybet Melendez, of Rockville, Md., allegedly attempted to add the phone to an account using an Illinois driver’s license in the name of John Hanner, police said. Three separate identifications were reportedly found on the man, each with the same photograph but different names.

The second man identified himself as Sergio Morando, a Cuban citizen, and said he did not have identification on him, police said. Two driver’s licenses from two different states were reportedly found on him.

It was unknown if the man gave a false name, however, and police could not positively say if the name given was his true identity. He was charged as John Doe.

Both were arraigned Sunday by District Judge Allen Sinclair, according to court documents. Melendez was charged with three felony counts of identity theft, theft by deception and forgery.

John Doe was charged with one felony count of theft by deception, court documents said. Both had bail set at $30,000.

Preliminary hearings are scheduled for Jan. 18.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews

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