Bank Employee Arrested In Thefts Of $24,000 From Customers

SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA.com) — A Valencia bank employee faced possible felony charges Wednesday in thefts of more than $24,000 from two customers, authorities said.

Samuel Godinez, 25, was arrested July 2 and was booked on suspicion of felony commercial burglary, theft by access card and passing checks with known insufficient funds, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Joshua Dubin said.

Authorities were first notified about the thefts when a Newhall resident told investigators with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station that an unknown person used his bank card number for over $8,000 in charges without his permission, according to Dubin.

In May, another bank customer told deputies that more than $16,000 was taken from her checking account in April.

“As the investigation progressed, detectives found similarities in both cases,” Dubin said.

Banking staff supervisors assisted investigators toward identifying Godinez, who worked for the same bank used by both victims, said Dubin.

Godinez was arrested and terminated by his employer, according to Dubin.

Authorities are not releasing the name of the banking institution until Godinez is arraigned on criminal charges.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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