ORO VALLEY AZ. – An Oro Valley woman was shocked when she learned her identity had been stolen and then the thief stole nearly $4,000 a year later.
It was a dog park in Oro Valley where Debbi Treichel said she left her purse in the car as she let her dogs run around. That was January of 2018. “I just came back out and got in the car and realized my purse was gone,” she said. “You feel violated.”
Among the stolen purse were: her wallet with credit cards, bank cards and her driver’s license. Fast forward to April 6 of this year; when her husband was online checking their bank account, something he often does, he noticed two substantial withdrawals. The woman who was caught on surveillance cameras posing as Debbi, and had her bank card that was stolen 15 months ago. Oro Valley Police said that in just an hour, the suspect withdrew nearly $4000 from their Hughes Credit Union account.
“She provided our victim’s driver license with her debit card to the teller and withdrew the money from her account,” said Detective Steve LaVeau, who is working the case.
The suspect drove to the Wetmore Branch and deposited a stolen check, immediately drawing the money from Debbi’s account. But she is not the only victim, the check was stolen from a woman in Las Vegas. It was made out for $2,495. In all, the suspect stole nearly $4000 from Treichel’s account.
The couple went to the bank. “I immediately felt like a criminal,” Debbi said, “because I had to go in the bank and prove that I wasn’t the one who took it out.”
When she saw the video, she became angry. This ordeal has taught Debbi ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft. “Take a case number to the department of motor vehicles and have them change the number of your driver’s license,” she said. “Go to your bank and request no transactions be done at the drive up window. Also, use a password before you can withdraw money. And be diligent about checking your bank accounts and credit cards.”
In a message to the thief, she said, “Get a job like the rest of us and make your money the right way.”
Detective LaVeau said that he is doing all he can to find this woman to try and figure out who she is associated with and how this case in Tucson is tied to Las Vegas.
If you recognize this woman or if you have any information you are urged to call 911 or 88-CRIME if you wish to remain anonymous.