BROWNSVILLE, TX – A Brownsville man was caught with more than 200 Social Security cards and birth certificates. Police said they were all stolen so he could change the information.
Law enforcement from across the Rio Grande Valley was involved in his capture.
Brownsville Police Department said the investigation began three months ago, when they took in several reports of car burglaries. They checked around with other agencies and found out Weslaco, Edinburg and the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office were all searching for the same suspect.
Rodrigo Rodriguez is charged with possession of identifying information, tampering with a governmental record, unlawful use of criminal instruments and driving with a suspended license.
He was arrested this week and allowed police to search his apartment. The officers seized 141 Social Security cards, 110 birth certificates, 18 Texas ID cards, 11 Texas driver’s license, 3 tampered birth certificates, 1 marriage license and 1 Mexico ID card.
Police also found tools including a magnifying glass, scalpels, razor blades and erasers. They saidthey believe the tools were used to change information on social security cards. They also found more than $8,000 in cash.
Additional charges for car burglaries are still pending. His bond was set at $35,000.
The Cameron County Sheriff’s office is warning people not to leave important legal documents in their cars. “When they steal a social security card or when they steal a birth certificate, they’re going to make duplicates and they’re going to sell it to someone else, and then we’ve got a bigger problem,”Sheriff Omar Lucio said.
The sheriff’s office asks anyone who believes they make be a victim to step forward. They are handling this case from their Harlingen office.
Police are still searching for a second person involved in these burglaries.