Calexico woman, 39, arrested for allegedly asking to be paid to return lost wallet

May 31, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Police here arrested a 39-year-old Calexico woman on suspicion of extortion for allegedly demanding a $100 payment for return of a wallet to another woman who had lost the wallet Monday.

Police used a sting operation to arrest Martha Flores Acevedo, according to Calexico police Sgt. Jim Neujahr.

The arrest came at 3 this morning when Acevedo met with the victim on Imperial Avenue in Calexico. The meeting had been set up by police, who had been contacted by the victim.

Neujahr declined to release the victim's name but said she is an El Centro resident.

The case began Monday, when the woman was in Calexico and noticed her wallet was missing. Neujahr said police are unsure whether she lost her wallet or it was stolen.

The woman contacted police, but at the time there was little police could do because there were no leads.

Then, the victim reportedly received a call from Acevedo, who had come in possession of the wallet, which contained money, Social Security cards, immigration cards and other possessions.


The victim told police Acevedo said she would return the wallet if the victim handed over $50.

According to Neujahr, the victim agreed to pay that amount. However, later Acevedo allegedly demanded the victim pay her $100 for the return of the wallet.

The victim then contacted Calexico police.

Neujahr said investigators first determined the case was a matter of extortion and the suspect had violated state laws relating to the return of such possessions.

Investigators had the victim set up a meeting for 3 this morning with Acevedo. Police provided $100 to the victim to give to Acevedo.

Police were watching as the exchange was made and then officers moved in to make the arrest.

Acevedo was arrested without further incident, and the wallet and possessions in it were returned to the victim.

Acevedo was booked into county jail. Information on her bail was unavailable by presstime this morning.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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