DPS: 2 arrested after stealing rent money, cashing stolen money orders

Money orders, checks stolen from apartment complex leasing offices, DPS says

By Adrian Garcia - Digital Journalist

Courtesy: Bexar County Jail

SAN ANTONIO - A bag containing nearly a half-pound of meth led to the discovery of stolen money orders and checks from several San Antonio apartment complex leasing offices.

Elizabeth Martinez, 36, and Leon Gordon, 40, were arrested on outstanding warrants and are facing serious felony charges.

On Feb. 6, Gordon and two others were in a Buick Rainier when a trooper pulled them over for a traffic violation.

During the traffic stop, the trooper spotted a bag near Gordon's feet, which contained about 173 grams of meth, along with 48 checks and money orders, according to an arrest affidavit.

An investigation into the items revealed they had been taken from leasing offices at the Sendero Ridge, The Oasis at Oakwell, Spanish Main and other apartment complexes, according to an agent with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The agent said security footage from the Sendero Ridge and Spanish Main apartment complexes showed a man, later identified as Gordon, breaking into the leasing offices.

Staff members told the DPS agent that money orders and checks used for rent were stolen during the burglaries.

Days after the break-ins, Martinez and another woman were seen on surveillance footage cashing two of the stolen money orders, one for $899 and another for $926, at an H-E-B, according to the affidavit.

The agent said he was able to receive a copy of the $899 money order, which had Martinez's state identification number, her date of birth, her fingerprint and her signature on it.

Martinez and the woman were then seen getting into a Buick Rainier, which is believed to be the same vehicle that the trooper pulled over for a traffic stop, the affidavit said.

An investigator confirmed that the right thumbprint on the money order stolen from the Sendero Ridge Apartments and cashed at H-E-B belonged to Martinez, according to the affidavit.

Martinez is facing charges of engaging in criminal activity and fraud use or possession of identifying information, which are first-degree felonies.

Gordon is facing the same charges, in addition to a burglary charge, according to online records.

Online records show Martinez has been previously arrested on charges of credit/debit card abuse, possession of a controlled substance and theft.

Gordon has an extensive criminal history with 20 previous arrests that date back to 2008. The arrests are on suspicion of theft, tampering with evidence, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, evading arrest and other felony offenses.

While the other woman was identified in the affidavit, it is unclear if she is facing any charges in connection with the case.

DPS officials did not immediately respond to KSAT.com's request for more information.

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