Novato pair arrested for identity theft

NOVATO (BCN) — Novato police arrested two Walnut Creek residents Monday on suspicion of stealing mail and other personal information from vehicles at a motel.

Police responded around 8:30 p.m. to a report of someone taking property from vehicles at Americas Best Value Inn at 7600 Redwood Blvd., Sgt. Jennifer Dunlap said.

Witnesses directed officers to a motel room where Michael Whalin, 23, and Samantha Surls, 30, were found with mail belonging to Novato and East Bay residents, Dunlap said.

Police also found banking information, checks and debit and credit cards belonging to the victims, Dunlap said.

Whalin and Surls were arrested on suspicion of forgery, identity theft, possession of stolen property, possession of forged and fictitious checks, passing fictitious checks and possession of a controlled substance, Dunlap said.

Whalin and Surls were booked on $100,000 bail in Marin County Jail.

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