Tulare County Court employee stole from her co-workers, Sheriff says


A Tulare County Court employee was arrested Thursday after the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office says she was stealing from her co-workers.

At 5 p.m., deputies arrested 40-year-old Melody Morales Montijo of Porterville following the investigation of ongoing thefts at the South County Justice Center in Porterville, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The investigation started on May 25 after several employees from the Justice Center reported missing money from their personal belongings that were stored at or near their work stations within the Court House.

Between May and August the suspect stole about $1,067 from multiple victims, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The Sheriff’s Office used covert equipment, bait money and Smartwater from the Agricultural Crimes Unit to help solve the case, the Sheriff’s Office said.

At the time of the Montijo’s arrest, Smartwater was found on her body, as well as the clothes she was wearing at the time of the crime, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The Sherif’s Office said she confessed to the crimes, and she was taken to the Porterville Sheriff’s Substation and booked into custody without incident.

Montijo is on paid administrative leave.

Anyone with information should contact Detective Richard Ramirez at 1-800-808-0488 or anonymously at tcso@tipnow.com or by text or voicemail at 559-725-4194.

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