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Woman Accused Of Using Stolen Information To Purchase Vehicles

By Odessa American, Texas
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

July 15--A 28-year-old Stanton woman has been charged with a first-degree felony of fraudulent use of identifying information after, court documents state, she admitted to taking client information from her employer and using it to purchase vehicles across West Texas.

Sonnie Estella Kunkle was being held Tuesday at the Ector County Detention Center on bonds totaling $65,000. Kunkle has also been charged with theft of property less than $20,000; possession of a controlled substance; and tampering with physical evidence. Jail records state Kunkle was arrested Monday.

The investigation originally started on Jan. 1, 2013 when Kunkle's boyfriend Eric Perez was pulled over in Midland County driving a 2013 Dodge Challenger that was purchased from All-American Dodge of Odessa using stolen information, a probable cause affidavit filed by Texas RangerJeffery Strain stated.

Perez fled on foot and further investigation found that the suspect had been purchasing vehicles using stolen information in Midland, Lamesa and Lubbock as well, the affidavit stated.

On Jan. 4, 2013, Perez and Kunkle were arrested at 1105 N. Texas Ave., on outstanding warrants and were found to have large amounts of suspected methamphetamine or cocaine in the residence, the affidavit stated. Kunkle admitted to being in possession of a controlled substance and both she and Perez were taken to Medical Center Hospital after both said they ingested the substances to get rid of them, the affidavit stated.

Strain then interviewed Kunkle who admitted that she had taken a "driver's list" -- containing names, date of births, social security numbers and driver's licenses -- from her employer West Texas Insurance Exchange of Odessa, and gave it to Perez, the affidavit stated.

The two would use names on the list to apply for credit and if they were approved, Kunkle said they would pick up the vehicle or have it delivered, the affidavit stated. Kunkle also admitted to using stolen information herself to purchase a vehicle from Lubbock and withdraw money from another person's bank account.

It was unknown if Perez had been charged in connection with the crimes and a call to the detention center stated he was not a listed inmate.

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