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Woman finds purse, goes ring shopping

Sept. 25, 2012

A Waukesha woman and her daughter were charged last week with using a woman's credit card to buy gasoline and jewelry.

The criminal complaint stated that on April 6, Terese A. Sindic, 49, and her 25-year-old daughter, Tori O. Sindic, racked up charges on a credit card that Terese Sindic found in a cart at Walmart, 2000 S. West Ave.

The Sindics allegedly used the card on three occasions, twice at Walmart, and once at Kwik Trip.

The victim told police that she had left her purse in a shopping cart at Walmart, and when she returned a short time later, the purse was gone. Video surveillance showed a car pull into a parking stall near the shopping cart where the woman had left her purse. Terese Sindic then allegedly took the purse, put it in her car and returned to the store an hour later with her daughter.

Surveillance showed the duo looking in jewelry cases and using a credit card to purchase two rings. They also tried to use the card to buy a comforter and a stroller, but the card was denied, prompting them to walk out the door without paying for either item, the criminal complaint alleged.

When questioned by police, Terese Sindic said she needed gas for her car, so she used the card to top off her vehicle with $60 worth of gas. She explained that after getting the gas, she went home and told her daughter about the credit card. Rather than urging her mother to return the card, Tori, sensing an opportunity, allegedly said she wanted to use the card to purchase herself a ring. She decided she wanted another ring for her boyfriend.

After purchasing the jewelry with the stolen credit card, Tori told her mother she wanted to buy additional items from the store, but the card was denied at that point.

Tori and her mother walked out of the store without paying for the comforter or stroller and then threw the purse and its contents into a Dumpster, the criminal complaint stated.

Terese Sindic was charged with three counts of identity theft for financial gain - felony charges that carry a combined maximum penalty of $30,000 in fines and up to 18 years in prison. Tori Sindic faces two misdemeanor retail theft charges, which could net her a maximum of $20,000 in fines and up to 18 months in prison.

They are set to make an initial court appearance on Oct. 1.

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