Updated (Wednesday, 10:12 p.m.): Another 10 or so potential victims of Maria Christina Johnson, 40, who also used the name Gia Hendricks, have come forward one day after her arrest on charges of forgery and burglary, Manhattan Beach Police Detective Michael Rosenberger told sister site on Wednesday.
Some locals might have encountered one woman who was taken into custody Tuesday on suspicion of identity theft, according to Manhattan Beach authorities.
"Gia Hendricks," whose real name is Maria Christina Johnson, passes herself off as a person of wealth who runs a modeling agency and befriends people to gain their trust in order to then use their identity, detectives said.
Johnson, wanted for similar offenses in Oregon and Washington where she served two years in prison for identity theft, was arrested in Hollywood by Manhattan Beach police detectives, said Stephanie Martin of the Manhattan Beach Police Department.
Johnson also claimed to be associated with the Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR racing team by using her assumed name.
Johnson has no known permanent address or vehicle. However, in the process of befriending victims, she not only steals their identities, but also finds a place to stay as well as obtain transportation, Martin said. Johnson reportedly met one victim in a Hermosa Beach bar.
Johnson, 40, has gone by various names including Gia Hendricks, Gia Hendrick, Maria Hendricks, Maria Johnson, Christina Johnson and Gia Johnson.
She was booked on four counts involving forgery and burglary. Bail was set at $80,000.
Anyone with information or who may have been a victim was asked to call Manhattan Beach Police Department Detective Mike Rosenberger at 310-802-5127.
— City News Service.