Chesterton Tribune

Liberty woman charged with forgery theft fraud

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A Liberty Township resident was booked into the Porter County Jail on Tuesday on charges of theft, fraud, and two counts of forgery, the Porter County Sheriff’s Police said.

Alana Rae Zinnel, 47, of 159 Cattail Lane, was arrested on those charges at 1:34 p.m. by Chesterton Police.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed by Det. Sgt. Charles Rinker, on May 21 a 5/3 Bank customer reported the theft of her debit card and multiple fraudulent purchases charged to her account: $462.93 at the Chesterton Kmart, then another $21.39 at Kmart, $42.93 at a Chesterton Marathon, then another $44.82 at the Marathon.

The victim advised that she believed her debit card to have been taken on May 18 from the ATM at the 5/3 branch in Chesterton, when she’d used the machine, then driven off after the ATM failed immediately to release her card.

Rinker stated in his affidavit that a surveillance tape of the ATM transaction shows a woman in a red PT Cruiser with a Hoosier Veteran license plate immediately behind the victim in line at the ATM. That woman pulls up to the machine and “can be seen removing something” from it, Rinker stated.

On Tuesday, a red PT Cruiser with a Hoosier Veteran license plate was observed at the 5/3 bank and Rinker stated that he subsequently located the driver, identified as Zinnel.

In an interview Zinnel admitted taking the debit card, using it to buy over $600 in merchandise from the Kmart—and applying the purchase to her own Kmart rewards account—using the card as well to buy gasoline and cigarettes at the Marathon, and signing the victim’s name on the receipt in all cases, Rinker stated.

Forgery is a Class C felony punishable by a term of two to eight years; theft and fraud, Class D felonies punishable by a term of six months to three years.



Posted 6/21/2012