Moses Lake man charged with $4,500 theft

Columbia Basin Herald, Moses LakeMarch 21, 2013 

— A Moses Lake man is accused of stealing about $4,500 in cash and six paychecks from an acquaintance’s car in December.

Prosecutors recently charged Nicholas F. Villareal, 20, with second degree theft in Grant County Superior Court.

Villareal allegedly took the cash and paychecks from a money bag the victim kept in his car, according to court documents. Five of the six checks were in the $1,000 range, according to records.

The victim told police he went to the Moses Lake Walmart on Dec. 10 to get a money order and then went to a friend’s house. The victim later gave Villareal, who was also at the residence, a ride, according to court documents.

The victim reportedly told police he thought Villareal took the cash and checks from his car when they were both at their mutual friend’s residence. The victim told police Villareal went outside to smoke for about 10 to 15 minutes, according to court documents.

The homeowner later reportedly told the victim Villareal was seen with a large amount of cash and was saying he was going to buy a Jeep for about $2,500. The victim reportedly went back to his friend’s house to speak with Villareal, according to records.

Villareal was no longer at the residence, and the victim and homeowner reportedly searched the garage where Villareal had been staying. They allegedly discovered check stubs from the missing paychecks in the garage, according to records.

According to court documents, there was no record that the paychecks were ever cashed.

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