News

Theft charges for transient

A driver of a Dodge caravan walked away from an accident on Jones Road Thursday at approximately 2:15 p.m. March 20, Island County Sheriff Mark Brown said the vehicle is registered to 48-year-old Kimberly Bastian, who Oak Harbor police are looking for in connection with numerous identity theft cases. The Caravan was westbound on Jones Road, crossed the centerline as it approached the intersection with Highway 20, traveled over the oncoming lane and went off the side of the road where it hit some trees, said Deputy Chris Garden of the Island County Sheriff’s Office.  - Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times
A driver of a Dodge caravan walked away from an accident on Jones Road Thursday at approximately 2:15 p.m. March 20, Island County Sheriff Mark Brown said the vehicle is registered to 48-year-old Kimberly Bastian, who Oak Harbor police are looking for in connection with numerous identity theft cases. The Caravan was westbound on Jones Road, crossed the centerline as it approached the intersection with Highway 20, traveled over the oncoming lane and went off the side of the road where it hit some trees, said Deputy Chris Garden of the Island County Sheriff’s Office.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

A 48-year-old transient woman who police asked the public to help locate is now facing a potential prison term, according to court documents.

Prosecutors charged Kimberly Bastian in Island County Superior Court March 27 with second-degree theft and two counts of first-degree identity theft.

Last month, Detective Mike Bailey with the Oak Harbor Police Department made a plea to the community to assist him in finding Bastian, who he said was a suspect in numerous identity theft cases. She was also wanted on warrants out of Skagit County for residential burglary and identity theft.

On March 20, Island County Sheriff’s deputies discovered a Dodge Caravan that had crashed into some trees on the side of Jones Road. The vehicle, which was deserted, was registered to Bastian.

On March 24, police staked out an area where they learned Bastian may be and followed her as she drove away, Oak Harbor Police Capt. Rick Wallace said. Bailey arrested her inside the Rite Aid store in Oak Harbor.

In his report, Bailey wrote that Bastian knew the police were looking for her.

“She had also taken steps in an attempt to change her appearance by wearing a hat and was in the process of buying hair color and different style glasses at the time of her arrest,” he wrote.

Bailey began investigating the transient woman, who he described as “an avid methamphetamine user,” on March 1 after an Oak Harbor man reported that he lost his wallet and someone had used his debit card and starter checks. Bailey identified Bastian from surveillance video, the report states.

Later, an employee at Frontier Chevrolet reported that Bastian used one of the man’s checks to buy a $5,000 truck.

In addition, Bailey wrote that Bastian opened a checking account under a fake name, deposited a forged check and withdrew $5,500. The check belonged to an Island County resident who had complained he had received a bill totaling over $10,000 for checks he didn’t write. There had been mail theft in his neighborhood, the report states.

Wallace said Bastian is also a suspect in numerous other theft cases that are under investigation.

If convicted of the charges against her, Bastian could face up to 14 months in prison under the standard sentencing range.

You can reach News-Times reporter Jessie Stensland at jstensland@whidbeynewstimes.com or call 675-6611.

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