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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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7/24/2013 1:42:00 PM
Cottonwood woman charged with stealing credit cards from patients during eye exams
Natalie Olson
Natalie Olson

A Cottonwood woman has been charged with multiple counts of theft after an extensive investigation by the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office and police departments in Cottonwood and Sedona.

Officials say Natalie Olson, 33, worked in eye doctors' offices in the Village of Oak Creek and Sedona. They accuse her of going through female patients' purses when patients left their personal property unattended in the office during eye exams. Olson would steal credit cards and identification, according to the report. In all cases, victims did not realize the theft until at least a day later.

During the last several weeks, detectives learned the thefts and fraud took place throughout the Sedona, Cottonwood, and Camp Verde areas. By following a paper trail of evidence and utilizing security video from various stores, Olson was identified and arrested on July 11.

Officials allege that Olson used the cards for purchases at local stores and purchased cash debit cards and then discarded the stolen credit cards to avoid detection.

Olson allegedly used the stolen cards at various stores including Wal-Mart, Giant Gas, Walgreens, and Webers IGA, for at least the past two months. A break in the case came when she was caught at Wal-Mart placing items she had not scanned into a bag at self-checkout. When clerks checked the credit card Olson was using, they found the card was not in her name and contacted law enforcement.

The investigation has linked Olson directly to 12 cases under review by the three agencies.

Olson faces charges including fraud schemes, trafficking stolen property, identity theft, forgery, theft, fraudulent use of a credit card, theft of a credit card, burglary, possession of stolen property, and money laundering. Her bond is set at $28,000.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, September 1, 2013
Article comment by: John Doom

Merchants should always ask for an ID that matches the name on the credit card at least for purchases $100 or more.....this would be a great deterrent and not involve that much extra time at the would make crooks less likely to steal......not a perfect guarantee but better than the present takes only an extra second for the customer to have his driver license quickly ready for review

Posted: Saturday, July 27, 2013
Article comment by: Diana Arendt

I am one of Natalie's victims. She has a serious problem and needs to be locked up. Her employer does not conduct background checks on applicants. If they had, they would have discovered that she is a thief with a record. Shame on you Southwest Eye Care. Thank you Yavapai County Sheriff's Dept for a job well done.

Posted: Friday, July 26, 2013
Article comment by: Pam Langguth

Karma will get you every time I will say this...
The joke is on you..Pathetic....

Posted: Friday, July 26, 2013
Article comment by: Pam Langguth

Karma will get you every time I will say this...
The joke is on you..Pathetic....

Posted: Friday, July 26, 2013
Article comment by: Brian Carlson

I have had my credit card information used 3 times. Each time it was after using it at a Sedona business. Each time the bank conducted an investigation. It appears that the banks have insurance and would rather pay the premiums rather that tracking down and taking legal action against those who take credit card information and us it illegally. Why spend time tracking down criminals, the banks just let the insurance company take care of everything?

Posted: Friday, July 26, 2013
Article comment by: Alan Brand

I've had my credit card number misappropriated by a Verde Valley merchant and had to go through all the hoops straightening things out over six months. I received my new credit card number and less than a year later it happened again. Detectives say a restaurant employee used my credit card number for $1500 in online purchases, but my credit card issuer flagged the purchases this time. Watch out in the Verde Valley as it's a den of thieves out here, but then that's true in many other places as well.

Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013
Article comment by: Randy Loftus


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