Mon, May 20

Cottonwood woman charged with stealing credit cards from patients during eye exams

Natalie Olson

Natalie Olson

A Cottonwood woman has been charged with multiple counts of theft after an extensive investigation by the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office and police departments in Cottonwood and Sedona.

Officials say Natalie Olson, 33, worked in eye doctors' offices in the Village of Oak Creek and Sedona. They accuse her of going through female patients' purses when patients left their personal property unattended in the office during eye exams. Olson would steal credit cards and identification, according to the report. In all cases, victims did not realize the theft until at least a day later.

During the last several weeks, detectives learned the thefts and fraud took place throughout the Sedona, Cottonwood, and Camp Verde areas. By following a paper trail of evidence and utilizing security video from various stores, Olson was identified and arrested on July 11.

Officials allege that Olson used the cards for purchases at local stores and purchased cash debit cards and then discarded the stolen credit cards to avoid detection.

Olson allegedly used the stolen cards at various stores including Wal-Mart, Giant Gas, Walgreens, and Webers IGA, for at least the past two months. A break in the case came when she was caught at Wal-Mart placing items she had not scanned into a bag at self-checkout. When clerks checked the credit card Olson was using, they found the card was not in her name and contacted law enforcement.

The investigation has linked Olson directly to 12 cases under review by the three agencies.

Olson faces charges including fraud schemes, trafficking stolen property, identity theft, forgery, theft, fraudulent use of a credit card, theft of a credit card, burglary, possession of stolen property, and money laundering. Her bond is set at $28,000.