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Tuesday, February 20 News

One-woman crime spree on BRT: Cops say stolen credit cards used at bank, jewelers

A Las Vegas woman was charged with a lightning-fast crime spree Thursday on Black Rock Turnpike where police said she stole a customer's wallet at Trader Joe's, then used stolen credit cards to illegally withdraw $4,000 from a nearby bank, and next tried to fraudulently buy two Rolex watches, valued at $26,900, from Lenox Jewelers.

Police said the three incidents unfolded within 13 minutes Thursday afternoon.

She was foiled because a clerk at Lenox Jewelers knew the wallet-theft victim at Trader Joe's and was aware the credit cards the would-be thief from Las Vegas attempted to use did not belong to her, according to police.

Sadie Lynne Ouellette, 36, was charged with fourth-degree larceny, sixth-degree larceny, credit card theft, illegal use of a credit card, criminal attempt at first-degree larceny, interfering with an officer and two counts of criminal impersonation.

She was held in lieu of $100,000 bond, and because she failed to post that bond, was arraigned Friday in Bridgeport Superior Court.

Ouellette also had outstanding arrest warrants in Riverside and Orange County, Calif., and a federal marshal in Portland, Oregon. The Portland warrant, which was for conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone, was extraditable and she also was held on a federal detainer, local police said.

"As you can see, in a matter of 13 minutes, we have ... basically three crimes committed within six blocks of each other by the same person," Police Chief Gary MacNamara said Friday. "The power of observation, the power of reporting, this case is really just a great example of that, and how quickly people can lose a lot of money."

The Trader Joe's victim, who lives in Trumbull, called police about 2:30 p.m. Thursday when she noticed that her purse had been stolen. But a few minutes later, police said Ouellette was able to fraudulently withdraw $4,000 from a Chase Bank office on Black Rock Turnpike.

Ouellette, wearing a wig and sunglasses, then went to Lenox Jewelers, but the clerk thought she seemed suspicious and called police, according to the report.

The jewelry store clerk asked if he could help Ouellette, and she asked to look at two Rolex watches -- valued at $17,000 and $9,900 -- and then asked if she could pay for them with two separate American Express cards, police said. The cards were from the wallet stolen from the Trader Joe's customer, police said.

The clerk, coincidentally, knew the woman whose name appeared on the credit cards and asked Ouellette for identification, police said. Ouellette then showed the clerk a driver's license in the name of the Trader Joe's victim, police said.

"The woman whose name is on the credit cards and license, the clerk has had dealings with before so he knew it was not her," MacNamara said.

When officers arrived at Lenox Jewelers, the only identification Ouellette had with her was from the Trader Joe's victim and she initially gave officers another false name and said she lived in Las Vegas, police said. She told officers she found the credit cards in the parking lot of Panera Bread on Black Rock Turnpike, police said.

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By this time, officers had linked the theft at Trader Joe's and theft at Chase Bank to Ouellette, according to the report. "She finally identified herself as Sadie Ouellette," MacNamara said.

Ouellette told officers she was working with a man parked in the Panera Bread parking lot, but police could not locate him, MacNamara said. "We still do believe there was another individual working with her. We just were not able to locate him," the chief said.