AUBURN (CBS13) – An alert cashier is being credited with helping detectives catch a credit card fraud suspect in Placer County.

The investigation started back on Nov. 22 when two Auburn Oaks Care Center residents reported being the victims of fraud, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office says.

Detectives went to the stores where the credit cards were used to see if the suspect was caught on surveillance camera. As it turns out, a cashier had also followed and jotted down the car information of a suspicious-looking customer that day.

Karen Paredes-Ludquin’s booking photo. (Credit: Placer County Sheriff’s Office)

The woman was wearing nursing scrubs and had a surgical mask over her when she was rung up, arising the suspicion of the cashier.

That woman, 29-year-old Yuba City resident Karen Paredes-Ludquin, was identified as the fraud suspect. Detectives also learned that she was a certified nursing assistant at the facility where the fraud was reported.

Paredes-Ludquin was later arrested when she showed up to work on a following day. She is facing several counts of fraud and identity theft.

An Auburn Oaks Care Center administrator issued the following statement Tuesday: “We’re grateful to local law enforcement for helping us identify and arrest those responsible for these alleged thefts. Our leadership took immediate steps to cooperate in every step and will continue to do so as requested by law enforcement. We take all matters regarding the conduct of employees as well as the safety of our patients seriously. Moreover, the allegations made against this former team member do not reflect the values we hold at our facility. Our priority remains to provide the highest level of care for the patient and their families.”

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