Albert Lea woman appears in court on 2022 identity theft charges

Woman Appears in Court on identity Theft Charges

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(ABC 6 News) – An Albert Lea woman appeared in Olmsted County Court Tuesday, Nov. 28, on identity theft and check forgery charges.

Jennifer Cruz Dickens, who is also called Jennifer Palmer on the Olmsted County Court calendar, was charged with one count of felony check forgery and two counts of identity theft dating back to October and November of 2022.

According to court documents, in December of 2022, a community service officer with Rochester police responded to a NW business with several local stores, which alleged that Dickens, now 40, had passed six fraudulent checks at store locations over the course of a week.

According to court documents, the fraudulent checks totaled $2,966.84 between Oct. 29 and Nov. 4, 2022, and had the names of two women other than Dickens.

The Pierce County sheriff’s office allegedly told police that a woman in Wisconsin had been contacted by the Rochester business about her name being on some of the checks.

Police contacted the second woman whose name was on the checks, and found that the driver’s license number listed on the checks for each woman was “nearly identical” to the woman’s actual driver’s license number.

According to court documents, the checks bore the women’s first names, maiden names, and previous addresses, plus account and routing numbers for entirely different financial institutions than the one named on the checkbook.

Police claim that surveillance footage from the Rochester business depicted Dickens filling out some of the false checks and using them to pay for items — and as the handwriting on all six false checks appeared the same, law enforcement alleged that Dickens forged all of the checks, according to court documents.

Dickens’ next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 30, 2024.