By Jacob Mathias
A Wis. Rapids woman was arrested for felony theft after a Plover man discovered she had been using stolen checks stolen from his home.
Amanda Stirk, 30, is charged with felonious identity theft for financial gain. If convicted, she could see a punishment of up to a $10,000 fine, six years imprisonment or both if convicted. Since Stirk is a repeat offender — having been convicted of cocaine possession and criminal damage to property in 2011 — an additional two years can be added to any prison sentence.
Stirk was scheduled to make her initial appearance in Portage Co. Circuit Court on July 5, but that appearance was rescheduled for Aug. 1 so she had time to obtain a public defender.
According to court documents, Portage Co. deputy responded to a burglary report on the 2800 block of Biron Drive in the Town of Plover on Jan. 5. The man who lived there said when he returned home on Dec. 27, he noticed a jug of change had disappeared from his home, and days later discovered some of his personal checks were missing as well.
There was no sign of forced entry, and nothing else appeared to be missing, which is why the man said he did not call police sooner.
The man also told police an employee of his bank had contacted him, saying a woman claiming to be his daughter was trying to cash an $800 check from his account. During that phone call, the woman, later identified as Stirk, fled the bank. The banker was later able to provide a physical description to law enforcement.
Investigators later discovered Stirk had written five checks on the man’s account totaling $3,700 between Dec. 25 and Jan. 5.
Stirk was already in custody at the Portage Co. Jail on an unrelated charge when she was identified as the suspect. She initially denied any involvement in the fraud, but later admitted to cashing one of the checks, saying she gave all the money to a heroin dealer who also supplied her with a fake ID.
Stirk returns to court on August 1 at 1:30 PM for her initial appearance.