Aspen woman pleads guilty in forgery case
The Aspen Times
An Aspen woman pleaded guilty to felony forgery Monday in a deal that calls for no jail time but probation.
The Aspen Police Department’s March arrest of Patricia Taylor Freeman, 26, came after authorities sought the public’s help on social media. On March 19, the department posted a still shot, gleaned from surveillance video at The Aspen Store, on its Facebook page. The image showed the suspect in the check-out area of the convenience store, where she used someone else’s credit card to ring up a purchase worth $7.20.
Someone tipped off authorities March 20 that they knew the suspect’s identity, prompting investigators to contact Freeman and leading to her confession, police said.
The Aspen Store caper was just a fragment of the charges Freeman rang up on the credit card, which the legitimate holder lost on East Hopkins Avenue on Feb. 25. The victim contacted police March 5 to report fraudulent charges, spurring the probe.
All told, Freeman used the credit card — signing her own name on the receipts — to rack up more than a combined $1,078.99 in charges at such merchants as Pitkin County Dry Goods in Aspen, and El Korita restaurant and Whole Foods in Basalt, police said.
“It was her signature on there, but it was somebody else’s credit-card device,” Freeman’s attorney, Patrick Mika of Colorado Springs, told Judge Gail Nichols in Pitkin County District Court.
The plea deal includes the dismissal of a felony identity theft charge as well as a misdemeanor count for unauthorized use of a financial-transaction device.
Freeman is due back in court July 20 for a sentencing and restitution hearing.