STANWOOD, Wash. — A Stanwood mom is now dealing with the financial wreckage left behind after Snohomish County detectives say Kimberlee Lines stole her identity and charged up her accounts at two stores.
“It’s just weird because she has all of my information. She’s pretending to be me. She knows actually where I live and everything,” said Renae Topham.
Investigators in the Property Crimes Unit say Lines even opened up an account at Victoria’s Secret in the name of Topham’s daughter.
“She’s 4. She probably doesn’t have a lot of need for VS at this point but apparently she has their card,” said Topham.
It all started two years ago when burglars broke into her home and stole a laptop with personal information.
“They were able to get our social, my husband's social as well as my daughter’s, dates of birth, everything,” said Topham.
She isn’t the only victim, according to detectives.
“As soon that first phone call came, it flooded. All of a sudden I’ve got cards from people, credit cards and phone calls asking when I was going to make payment. It was a whirlwind,” said Wendy Hays of Kirkland.
Hays learned someone stole her identity. She spent more than a year trying to clear her good name.
“Things that you’ve worked for your whole life seem to, like, disappear because someone in a blink of an eye has taken your credit and invaded your world,” said Hays.
Police say it's all thanks to Lines.
“She’s been in the Skagit County and Snohomish County communities and she’s been going to Macy’s and TJ Maxx and using the victim’s identification and credit history,” said Snohomish County Property Crimes Unit Sgt. Jim Maples.
Police say she casually walks from store to store and racks up thousands of dollars in merchandise, all while pretending to be someone else and using their credit cards.
“She didn’t look like anybody special or different or tough. She just looked normal and that made me upset because she looked normal and people thought she was me,” said Hays.
Police say Lines admitted to being in an identity theft ring, with someone at a doctor or dental office feeding the crooks patients' personal information. Patients like Wendy Hays, who’s now buried in paperwork and bad credit.
“I had to cut off my credit. I had to lock it so now I can’t do anything freely without having to take extra steps to do something I should be able to do,” said Hays.
Every time Hays wants to buy something, it costs $10 to unlock and re-lock her credit. She says it’s a constant nuisance for her and it also adds up.
“We’d like to get her (Lines) in custody to account for the victims that we’re not aware of and hopefully, once in custody, we can stop the trend she has going,” said Sgt. Maples.
Detectives are asking for the public’s help to find Lines as well as her boyfriend, 23-year-old Austin Faircloth, who also has warrants for his arrest.
Topham says store clerks need to ask everyone for identification. Lines was able to charge $4,000 worth of clothes to accounts at Macy’s and Kohl’s just by entering Topham’s Social Security number.
"We've worked hard to get where we are and now somebody is just trying to steal that away from us without a whole lot of effort, really,” said Topham.
Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of either suspect. Call the hot line anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS.