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Alleged La Quinta mail & credit card thief pleads not guilty

INDIO, Calif.- - A Coachella man recently arrested for his alleged role in a spree of mail thefts from homes throughout La Quinta pleaded guilty today to charges in a separate case related to stealing checks from mailboxes and forging his name on the documents.
   
Arturo Sanchez, 35, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of check fraud, check forgery, identity theft, possession of stolen access cards and a probation violation, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.
   
Sheriff's deputies conducted a probation check at Sanchez's home Tuesday and found more than 40 pieces of stolen mail, checks and credit cards in his bedroom, deputies said.
   
Sanchez was later found at his girlfriend's home, where he allegedly tried to flee through the home's backdoor. He was arrested following ``a short foot pursuit'' and was being held on $250,000 bail.
   
Though charges have not been filed in connection with the recent alleged mail thefts, Sanchez had two active felony warrants for check fraud and domestic violence at the time of his arrest.
   
One of the warrants also relates to stealing mail, including several checks from homes throughout the Coachella Valley. Sanchez took checks from mailboxes, then altered both the amounts and to whom the checks were made out, court document allege.
   
He was charged in that case with four felony counts of forgery and identity theft, but pleaded guilty to one felony identity theft count Thursday afternoon and was sentenced to three years probation.

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