Prolific identity thief sentenced to 12 years in prison related to 2022 Christmas Day car break-in

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DA sealOREGON CITY, Or. – A 52-year-old man with a long criminal history pleaded guilty in March to 21 counts criminal counts and was sentenced Monday to 144 months in prison.

Trino Lopez, who has 40 criminal convictions dating back to 1995, faced more than a dozen identify theft charges, along with charges related to forgery, firearm theft and a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. During his trial, he pleaded guilty in the morning on the second day, leading up to Monday's sentencing by Judge Ann Lininger.

The charges in this case stem from a report of a car break-in on Christmas morning in 2022. The victim reported that $8,000 worth of items – including a still-in-the-box firearm – were stolen. An Apple air tag led Clackamas County Sheriff's Office deputies to the Kings Manor Apartments in Milwaukie, where they were led to a vehicle Lopez was driving. Deputies stopped the vehicle after witnessing traffic violations, and immediately noticed a firearm box with the same brand of the stolen firearm, leading to the arrest of Lopez and his co-defendant/fiancée, Tyanna Fitzpatrick. Deputies searched Lopez and found an assortment of identifications, credit cards and checkbooks that didn't belong to him. Deputies also found a temporary Oregon driver's license his Lopez's face on it, but a different person's name.

Later, deputies secured a search warrant for the vehicle and began to catalog approximately 1,100 photos of ID theft-related items, including two different printers, blank checks, and more IDs with Lopez's face on them but multiple different names on those IDs. Included in the trove of evidence deputies found were washed checks, which are checks that have been stolen from the mail and the payee and amount have been "washed away" from the check by the person who stole them. These washed checks can be sold to someone or made out to the person who stole them and deposited into an account they can control. In this case, one of the washed checks deputies found was for a whopping $92,000.

What was key for Clackamas County deputy district attorney Chelsea Jones in this case was the detailed work of Deputy David McCarthy, who catalogued 200 victims related to the case, what type of document corresponded to them, the amount of money stolen and more.

Jones said the damage done by Lopez to innocent victims is incalculable, as some had no idea they were victims until deputies and the district attorney's office began reaching out to let them know their identification was compromised and related to the case involving Lopez.

Others, meanwhile, were well aware something was awry with their identification. One victim discovered Lopez had their tax returns and copies of their entire family's social security cards. The same victim's daughter recently turned 18, and the Internal Revenue Service informed her that a different person claimed her as a dependent, resulting in the daughter having difficulty filing her taxes. There were other victims who gave victim impact statements at sentencing detailing how Lopez's actions negatively affected them.

"It was incredibly helpful that the victims in the case were cooperative and willing to come to court," Jones said. "That was a big reason to change his plea to guilty in the middle of the trial because he saw how much evidence we had against him. And putting faces to names really resonates with jurors."

Clackamas County District Attorney John Wentworth said identity theft can affect anyone from any walk of life, and that his office takes it seriously.

"We work hard every day to prosecute criminals who engage in identity theft," he said. "We take it very seriously here in Clackamas County because our goal is to make the community a safer place where people thrive."

Fitzpatrick is in the Clackamas County Jail awaiting her May 28 trial. She faces more than 40 criminal counts. Her bail is set at $630,000.

Trino Lopez mug shot