Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

12-17-08 Charges in Check Thefts, Forgeries

12-17-08 Charges in Check Thefts, Forgeries

    Boise, Dec. 17, 2008 - Boise Police Financial Crimes Detectives have filed charges against eight people accused of being part of a loose-knit theft and forgery ring that bilked local businesses out of hundreds of dollars since August.

    "These people appear to be linked mainly by drug use, specifically meth," said Boise Police Detective Monte Iverson. "This case is like many of the check theft and forgery reports we investigate in that the suspects appear to be stealing to support their drug use."

    Boise Police investigated this case with the help of officers with the Ada County Sheriff's Office, Meridian Police Department, and US Postal Inspectors. Boise Detectives want to thank officers with those agencies for their cooperation that helped lead to the arrest warrants for the suspects issued yesterday, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008.

    Background: Boise Police began receiving reports of checks stolen from local businesses in August of 2008. These businesses provided police with evidence the stolen checks were being forged and passed by numerous individuals. At about the same time, other businesses and individuals also reported checks and credit cards stolen from their mailboxes. Many of the stolen checks were being cashed for amounts ranging from $500 to $1,000. Detectives began to see a connection of common names and associations with these stolen checks.

    Suspects, Charges:

    Although the investigation is continuing, Boise Police have issued arrest warrants for the following suspects:

  • Thomas Coffey 30 - Forgery, Grand Theft
  • Mario Alvarez 28, - Forgery
  • Brittani Rennels, 18, - Forgery
  • Laura Burden 22 - Grand Theft, Forgery                                                                                    
  • Derrick Dodge 30 - Grand Theft, Forgery (charged by Meridian PD and Boise PD)
  • Brandy Scholtz (Harbison) 36 - Fraudulent Use of a credit card (charged by Ada County Sheriff Office, BPD charges pending)
  • Jerry Martin 41 - Grand Theft

    The following suspect is still outstanding:

  • Frances Samera 28, Grand Theft (currently wanted need help finding her)

Many of the suspects were previously in custody in similar charges. The suspects are all from Boise or the Treasure Valley area.