SDSO Nurse, 1 Other Arrested on Theft, Conspiracy Charges in Connection With North County Burglaries

The SDSO employee and an alleged accomplice are accused of committing identification theft, attempting to burglarize businesses and other crimes


The San Diego County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday a woman who works as a vocational nurse for the department was arrested for her alleged involvement in several North County burglaries.

SDSO nurse Estella Velez, 54, and Raul Rios, 44, are suspected in at least one theft, identification theft and two commercial burglaries, according to the department.

SDSO said, on July 10, Velez and Rios stole a purse filled with personal items and credit cards from someone near Mission Road and Camino Del Rey. The pair was then spotted on surveillance video using those credit cards at several locations in North County, the department said.

More than a week later, Velez and Rios were seen on camera attempting to rob businesses near the intersection of E. Vista Way and Arcadia Avenue. The attempted burglaries occurred on July 21 and 23, according to SDSO.

It was not clear how much was taken in the burglaries and thefts.

Velez and Rios were booked into the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility and the San Diego Central Jail, respectively, on eight felony charges of conspiracy and theft charges.

The status of Velez's employment with the department was not known.

Both are expected in court on Aug. 14.

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