Chico Police are asking the public to be on the lookout for a woman wanted by police for multiple instances of theft from local businesses and employees. In July, 2017, the Chico Police Department began investigating a female subject for multiple counts of identity theft. The suspect, later identified as 42-year old Deborah Jean Hughes, of Chico has been seen on video surveillance entering numerous local health club facilities. Hughes is not a current member of the facilities; she was captured on camera stealing victims’ personal identification, including credit cards. Hughes was also seen on video surveillance entering multiple local businesses and purchasing multiple gift cards in-excess of 3500-hundred dollars, with the credit cards stolen from local health club facilities. Hughes was also seen on video surveillance using the stolen credit cards at local department stores.
On Thursday, July 20, 2017, Chico Police arrested Hughes for multiple counts of identity theft and an outstanding felony warrant for vehicle theft out of the Sacramento area. Hughes was later released on her own recognizance and given a date to appear in court.
Then, on Wednesday, August 16, 2017, while released, Hughes was again captured on video surveillance entering a local business and going into a space reserved for business employees only. While there, Hughes was captured on camera stealing a wallet belonging to an employee. A credit card belonging to that victim was used a short time later at another local business to purchase gift cards.
The most recent incident was filed with the Butte County District Attorney’s Office and was to be added to existing charges against Hughes during her next court date, which was scheduled for Thursday, August 24, 2017. Hughes failed to appear for that court date; a felony warrant has now been issued for her arrest.
Anyone with information as to the location of Deborah Jean Hughes is asked to notify the Chico Police Department at 530.895.4911.
The public is also reminded to take safety precautions in protecting personal belongings while in public locations, including employment offices. Be aware of your surroundings, who is nearby and cautious of leaving or locking personal effects in shared public spaces.