Gavel

A man who was convicted in two car theft cases, as well as for stealing his brother’s identity, was sentenced to multiple years in prison followed by a term of probation.

Ernesto Agustin Ortiz Gutierrez, 25, of Marana, was sentenced Aug. 19 by Judge Thomas Fink of Santa Cruz County Superior Court to a 3.5-year prison term – with credit for 415 days already served – for one Class 3 felony car theft conviction.

He was also sentenced to a 2.5-year term for a Class 4 felony identity theft conviction, with credit for 26 days served.

The judge ordered that those two terms be served concurrently, or at the same time.

In addition, the judge sentenced Ortiz to four years of intensive probation supervision, to begin once he is released from prison. That term was imposed for a second Class 3 felony car theft conviction.

Court records show that Nogales Police Department officers responded June 27, 2018 to a report of a vehicle theft. The victim explained that when he got out of work, his vehicle was not where he had left it at the back of a store. However, there was broken glass in the area where he had left it.

A witness said they had seen a male and female hanging out in the area, and the male was described as having sleeve tattoos on both arms.

The following day, another NPD officer spotted a vehicle matching the description of the one that had been stolen. When the officer tried to stop it in the Walmart parking lot, a man who matched the description of the suspect seen hanging out behind the store jumped out and ran. The female driver was arrested.

The officer recognized the fleeing suspect as Ortiz and arrested him a few hours later at a restaurant parking lot.

The next day, June 29, 2018, another NPD officer encountered Ortiz and another male in the same restaurant parking lot in a black vehicle that had been reported stolen in Tucson.

Then on Nov. 15, 2018, Ortiz’s brother told the Nogales Police Department that Ortiz had memorized his Social Security and another ID number, and passed himself off as his brother after a shoplifting arrest.

According to Ortiz’s pre-sentence report, a photo of the suspect in the shoplifting incident showed him to have tattoos on his arms, but Ortiz’s brother did not have tattoos.

Court records show that the man found in the stolen black vehicle with Ortiz, Aaron Guillermo Gurrola, 26, of Tucson, was sentenced in May to one year in prison. The female driver in the other case, 29-year-old Sarah Nicole Yerena of Tucson, has an active warrant for her arrest.

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