Basalt woman faces theft and fraud charges
ASPEN – A Basalt woman with a history of criminal charges faces four new felony offenses after authorities say she tried to obtain drugs from Carl’s Pharmacy in Aspen by forging a doctor’s prescription form.
Laurie Lynn Reno, 30, appeared in a wheelchair Thursday in Pitkin County District Court, where Judge Gail Nichols set her bond at $15,000.
Nichols had to advise Reno of her rights twice after the defendant said she was feeling “woozy” the first time she heard them.
Nichols noted that she set the bond at a rather high amount because Reno poses a flight risk, in part because she skipped several court appearances for a felony theft case in which she is suspected of swiping underwear and other goods last year from two Aspen homes where she worked as a nanny.
The most significant charge against Reno in the current case, theft of more than $1,000 and less than $20,000, carries a prison range of two to six years, Nichols said. Reno also faces charges of forgery, fraud/deceit and unauthorized use of a credit card between $1,000 and $20,000.
Aspen police arrested Reno on Wednesday. The previous night, she allegedly had gone to Carl’s, which was closed at the time, “knocking, banging and kicking the door,” according to a pharmacist’s statement to police.
Reno had told the pharmacist she had dropped off some prescriptions to be filled, but the employee rejected them because he believed they were forged, according to an affidavit for warrantless arrest.
The pharmacist said Reno became upset, made a scene and went to her car. The pharmacist wrote down her car’s license-plate number and gave it to police.
The next morning, on Wednesday, police heard a report of a woman sleeping in the trunk of her car, which was the same model as Reno’s, the affidavit says.
In the car, police found rotten food, along with some items they believed to have been purchased from the O2 Aspen yoga studio using the credit card belonging to the doctor, Kenneth Weissman, whose prescription forms Reno had allegedly forged. All told, Reno had used the card to acquire more than $13,000 in clothing from O2 Aspen, signing the receipts with the name “Laurie Way,” the affidavit alleges.
Police also confronted her about the prescriptions in question, which she denied filling out herself, the affidavit says. One of the prescription forms Reno gave to Carl’s was left blank, the affidavit says.
Weissman, meanwhile, had gone to Carl’s earlier that Tuesday to say he had not filled out the prescription forms, the affidavit says. The doctor also told police that Reno had used the credit card at O2 Aspen without his permission.
The physician later learned that Reno rang up charges at City Market and Aspen Meadows Resort, the affidavit says.
For her part, Reno told the judge the charges against her are without merit.
“I feel like I should be able to stick up for myself, you know?” she told the judge, adding that “all of these people are setting me up.”
“I understand this is your point of view,” Nichols replied.
“It’s the truth, not a point of view,” Reno said.
Reno also told the judge she used the credit card with Weissman’s permission.
“I am very disturbed,” she said. “I did nothing wrong.”
Prosecutor Arnold Mordkin said Reno has a criminal history in Colorado that dates back to 2004 in Mesa County. Her alleged infractions include driving under the influence, domestic violence and theft, Mordkin said.
Reno is due back in court for the current charges on April 16.
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