BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Sarah Jane Brown, age 37, of Blaine, was recently arrested on August 22nd for suspicion of mail theft after an alert citizen reported seeing suspicious activity. Now she faces additional charges after another alert citizen noticed unusual activity on a credit card account.
According to an affidavit filed in Whatcom County Superior Court, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded on August 24th after a citizen reported finding what appeared to be a fraudulent charge of $2,000 on a credit card statement. The citizen had already contacted the credit card company and learned the charge was the result of a balance transfer check had been cashed.
Credit card companies are known to periodically mail unsolicited balance transfer checks to customers.
The affidavit said the citizen was provided a copy of the check showing it to be made out to Sarah Brown. The citizen told deputies that name was not familiar and the signature on the check was not similar to their own.
Deputies interviewed employees at the bank where the check had been cashed and were told Brown had opened an account for a brief time using the victim’s check and had made several transactions during that time.
Deputies then interviewed Brown in Whatcom County Jail where she remained in custody after her August 22nd arrest. She reportedly told deputies the victim was a family friend and the money was to help her start a business. After further questioning, she told deputies she stole the check out of a mailbox, forged the signature and cashed the check to feed her drug addiction and to stay at a hotel.
Deputies arrested Brown and she now faces a charge of forgery with intent to defraud and 2 charges of 2nd degree theft in Whatcom County Superior Court.
As of August 27th, she remained in custody pending being able to post a $10,000 appearance bond or $1,000 cash.