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Alleged identity thief wanted in three states nabbed in Hollywood

November 9, 2011 |  1:29 pm

Maria Johnson aka Gia Hendricks Bkg

Police in Hollywood arrested a woman wanted in three states for allegedly using a false identity to gain people's trust and steal their money and property.

Maria Christina Johnson, 40, would often pose as a wealthy manager of a modeling agency, officials with the Manhattan Beach Police Department said in a statement.

Johnson stole credit cards and identification  documents to commit fraudulent transactions and would often use the last name “Hendricks” to tout a false association with NASCAR's Hendrick Motorsports team, police said.  

Manhattan Beach authorities became involved in mid-October when a resident reported that Johnson charged about $10,000 to his credit card.

Det. Mike Rosenberger said a website and tips from Johnson’s ex-husband suggested she had victimized multiple people along the West Coast.  

“I can’t tell you what motivates her to constantly deceive,” Rosenberger said. “It boggles me.”   

Manhattan Beach police arrested Johnson on Tuesday near the corner of Cahuenga and Odin in Hollywood after police received a tip that she would engage in a meeting there to exchange property.

She faces four counts of forgery and four counts of burglary. She has already served two years in Washington state prison for identity theft and was wanted in Oregon for similar offenses, police said. 

Her bail was set at $80,000.


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Photo: Maria Christina Johnson. Credit: Manhattan Beach Police Department