Two wanted for multiple forgery and mail theft charges

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - Financial crimes investigators with the Harris County Sheriff's Office say Yuniel Medina and Pedro Cruz have made a career out of ripping people off.

They're wanted in multiple counties in our area on multiple forgery and mail theft charges. Nobody wants them caught more than 65-year-old Rudy Benitez.

"I think these guys should be punished to the fullest extent of the law," Benitez said.

Two personal checks meant for his sisters were stolen from the mailbox in front of Benitez's southwest Harris County home. The dollar amounts and the name on the checks has been altered and less than three hours after they went missing, one of the checks had been cashed.

Police say Medina was unsuccessful in trying to cash both forged checks because a bank employee at a Chase Bank recognized him and alerted Benitez.

"They had some kind of warning or some information to the tellers to be on the lookout for this person because he had done this before," Benitez said.

Police say Medina and Cruz are part of an organized check forgery ring that's been active in the Mission Bend area of Harris and Fort Bend counties.

"I believe they are actually getting hungry in the sense that they are acting a little more carelessly," said Deputy Joshua Nowitz of the Harris County Sheriff's Office Financial Crimes Unit.

Benitez says from now on he'll think twice about leaving anything in his mailbox for the mailman.

"It's what puts us citizens at risk to face this and they have all of our personal information," he said.

If you have any information about Medina or Cruz's whereabouts, contact the Harris County Sheriff's Office at 713-967-5773.

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