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Spokane

‘Nurse’ Thief Pockets More Than Victim’s Money

Wed., July 19, 1995

It was a typical morning. At 6:30 a.m., I stuffed my purse and clothes in an unlocked locker at Sta-Fit East and worked out. An hour later, as I was getting ready for work, I looked in my purse and noticed my wallet and checkbook were missing.

I searched everywhere. At home. In my car. Then I realized it had been stolen out of the locker. I canceled all my credit cards and called the bank right away, but the person who stole the wallet was clever.

I’m a registered nurse and my professional license was in my wallet. The woman dressed up as nurse, stethoscope and all, walked into a bank and with a check stolen from somewhere else, opened an account in my name! The clerk later said the woman was cool as a cucumber. When an alarm accidentally went off in the bank, the woman didn’t jump or anything.

She was also able to open up department store credit accounts, using my identification. Some of her purchases included $3,700 worth of jewelry, $4,000 worth of furniture, $1,400 worth of carpet and she spent $740 at a grocery store. She also cashed 10 of the checks left in my checkbook. Her total so far: $12,000.

Her spending spree has affected my credit. Store managers are calling me demanding payment, though I am not liable. I’ve learned several things from this. Spokane isn’t as safe as it once was. I will never leave my purse in an unlocked locker again, no matter how secure the establishment. I’ve also learned that store employees are too trusting. There are now clever crooks out there, people who will dress up as nurses to fool you. Beware.

Store employees need to check identifications more thoroughly. Ask more questions when suspicious. A woman spending $740 at a grocery store would raise a red flag in my mind. Only one company, a tire store, did a credit check. When they tried to call the woman’s employer, they discovered it was bogus.

I have some questions for the woman who stole my wallet: “How can you sleep at night? What horrible things happened to you to make you live this way? You are obviously smart, why don’t you pursue an education and get a real job? What you did feels like rape. It violated my life and my trust. Your actions shattered, forever, my sense that Spokane is a safe city to live in.

MEMO: Your Turn is a feature of the Wednesday and Saturday Opinion pages. To submit a Your Turn column for consideration, contact Rebecca Nappi at 459-5496 or Doug Floyd at 459-5466 or write Your Turn, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210-1615.

Your Turn is a feature of the Wednesday and Saturday Opinion pages. To submit a Your Turn column for consideration, contact Rebecca Nappi at 459-5496 or Doug Floyd at 459-5466 or write Your Turn, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210-1615.



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