Perhaps it seemed like a really good idea at the time

Judicial Investigating Organization photo One women is taken into custody in Los Cuadros

There are plenty of open cases of identity theft, but the quickest way to get the attention of law enforcement is to steal the identity of a sitting magistrate of the Corte Suprema de Justicia. But even then the investigation may take some time.

The case climaxed Tuesday with three raids in Los Cuadros de Goicoechea, in San José and in Agua Caliente de Cartago. Detained were two women.

The magistrate involved is Zarella Villanueva Monge, The Poder Judicial said that she filed a complaint in December when she found out that two women were trying to sell real estate that she owned. Months earlier the same persons managed to open a line of credit in her name at a local store.

Tuesday a judge authorized the raids, and agents of the Judicial Investigating Organization executed them. One suspect was detained in Los Cuadros. Another women was detained elsewhere, said judicial agents.

Agents said that persons using the name of the magistrate purchased three top-of-the-line cell telephones for 2 million colons, about $4,000. The women suspects are 45 and 47.

Despite using a fake identity cédula in the name of the judicial official, crooks were able to obtain credit at just one store, said investigators. That was where the cell telephones were purchased. The women face allegations of fraud and of using fake documents.

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