A travel agent took money from dozens of Houstonians. But instead of booking their trips, police said she's the one who took off.
Customers who stopped by Excelsior Travel and Tours inside the Fiesta store on Bellaire Boulevard thought the travel agent helping to plan their international vacations was Laura Lopez.
But that was an alias. Police said her real name is Rosa Echeverria, and that from September 2013 through the end of last year, Echeverria used customers cash and credit cards to purchase plane tickets for herself and her friends.
Echeverria's boss Janeth Trivino, the owner of Excelsior Travel and Tours, said she has personally refunded almost all of the customers. She just wants Echeverria caught.
"All I want is for the police to catch her," Trivino said. "And at least with being arrested, she can provide some money, I don't know."
Trivino said Echeverria took $131,000 from about 150 customers. She fooled her customers by giving them fake invoices and itineraries for their trips. It wasn't until they showed up at the airport that they realized their flights had never been booked. Echeverria is from Guatemala, but Trivino believes she is still in the Houston area.
If you work with a travel agent, you should always make sure you receive the flight confirmation numbers from the actual airline where your flight was booked. Pay with a credit card. If you find out your card was used for anything you didn't authorize, you can dispute the charges.