By Dee Camp
OKANOGAN – A woman was charged April 2 in Okanogan County Superior Court with identity theft, forgery and theft after allegedly using a stolen benefits card and trying to pass fake $100 bills in Omak.
Rielee Jean Smith, 24 and listed as homeless, was charged with two counts each of second-degree identity theft and third-degree theft, and one count of forgery.
Arraignment set for 1:30 p.m. April 8 before Judge Chris Culp.
An Omak Police Department report, which accompanied charging documents as a probable cause statement, said Officer Shane Schaefer responded to the Omak Safeway store on April 1 for a report of a woman store employees wanted trespassed from the premises.
The woman was contacted and allegedly told the officer she didn’t have any identification, but gave her name as Rielee J. Carden. She was asked to sit in the officer’s patrol vehicle while he verified her identification.
Just before she sat down, the officer noticed a bulge in her right back pocket; he asked her what was in her pocket, the report said. She allegedly pulled out a $20 bill, a Washington Quest card belonging to Randy Mattoon, a Rite Aid receipt showing a purchase with the card, a $100 counterfeit bill and tissue.
The $100 bill allegedly “felt like the wrong paper and had Japanese letters on the front and back,” the report said.
The report said the officer had just cleared a call to Rite Aid for a report that a woman matching Smith’s description attempted to purchase items using counterfeit $100 bills. She was also allegedly identified as someone who attempted to make a purchase with a Quest card.
According to court documents, Smith allegedly told the Rite Aid clerk she’d gotten the bills from the nearby JCPenney store. After being questioned by the clerk, the woman allegedly left the bills on the Rite Aid counter and left.
“It should be noted that these $100 notes had the same serial number on (them) as the one that Rielee handed me from her pocket,” said the officer’s report. “These notes also had Japanese writing on the front and back.”
A check through Okanogan County dispatch indicated the woman’s possible identity was Rielee J. Smith. A photo with the information matched the woman detained by the officer, according to the report.
She had outstanding warrants for failure to appear for false statements to a public servant and failure to appear for third-degree theft, and was taken to jail by another officer for the warrants.
Schaefer learned $13.96 allegedly was charged on Mattoon’s Quest card at Rite Aid and another $167.95 was charged at Safeway, and that no one had received $100 bills from Penney’s for cash back, according to his report.
The contract public defender’s office was appointed to represent Smith. Bail was set at $2,500 during an April 2 preliminary hearing. As of April 8, Smith remained in jail.