TURLOCK (CBS13) — A Ceres man has been arrested on suspicion of rental fraud across several central California communities.
Turlock police say, back in June, they started investigating two cases of people who say they found a rental property listing on Facebook Marketplace, but then ending up losing $2,000 each to fraud.READ MORE: Lake Tahoe's Terminal Status A Result Of Extended Drought
In both cases, the victims reported meeting with the suspect and giving him cash deposits of what was supposed to be their first month’s rent. However, the suspect then disappeared – with the victims unable to move into the properties they thought they had paid for.
It appears the suspect, later identified as 37-year-old Ceres resident Miguel Perez, was targeting Spanish-speaking victims, detectives say.READ MORE: 'I Saw The Suffering In People's Faces: Sacramento Man Finds Strollers For War-Torn Refugees
Detectives also believe Perez is suspected in several similar fraud cases across San Joaquin and Monterey counties.
Perez was arrested on Wednesday by detectives, Turlock police say. He has been booked into Stanislaus County Jail and is facing two counts of theft by false pretenses, along with five other warrants he had out for his arrest.MORE NEWS: Massive Outdoor Recreation Area Nears Opening In Elk Grove
With Perez frequenting Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Solano counties, detectives believe there could be more possible victims of the rental fraud scheme. Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of Perez is urged to call detectives at (209) 664-7319.