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Alleged I.D. thief in court today

Man faces 4 felony counts

Posted: October 5, 2008 7:59 p.m.
Updated: December 7, 2008 5:00 a.m.
 

A man charged with four theft-related felonies for allegedly using his girlfriend’s credit card to run up thousands of dollars in purchases was expected to appear in court today.

William Schaeffler pleaded not guilty to four felony counts last week including: identity theft, commercial burglary, theft and grand theft.

He remains in custody on $110,000 bail.

His lawyer, Tom Tibor, appeared in Santa Clarita Superior Court on his behalf Friday morning to set a date for a preliminary hearing.

A young woman with straight blonde hair wearing a steely blue short sleeved collared top with matching skirt, clutching a black binder against her chest, was ushered into the courtroom from the hallway when Commissioner Harold S. Vites called her name.

People identified her as Schaeffler’s ex-girlfriend and his alleged victim.

“I don’t want to give my name, absolutely not,” she said.

A second young woman wearing a white-collared jacket and holding a large pink handbag, was in the courtroom when her name was called in connection with the Schaeffler case. She also declined to give her name.

The two stern-faced women huddled with others outside the courtroom when the morning’s proceedings wrapped up in less than five minutes.

A man and a woman who arrived late for the hearing said they were disappointed to have missed the hearing.

The man said only that he was the victim of a theft involving $160,000 and that he planned on monitoring Schaeffler’s case closely.

Los Angeles Police officers arrested Schaeffler on Aug. 29 when they responded to an unrelated domestic call. He is accused of stealing a former girlfriend’s identity to purchase thousands of dollars of merchandise at Santa Clarita Valley retailers in August.

Over a five-year period Schaeffler allegedly used the victim’s identity to open credit card accounts to fund his spending sprees. The victim won a civil judgment against Schaeffler in 2005 for $300,000. Schaeffler hasn’t paid any money, she said.

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