Three people are facing charges after police found other people’s tax documents, bank statements, and numerous altered checks along with other personal information from individuals inside a vehicle following a report of mail theft in the north metro.
William John Wefel, 28, of Rockford, Crystal Lynn O’Malley, 41, of Woodbury, and James Williams Dalbec, 29 of Shakopee have been charged following the discovery in Anoka County this week.
The criminal complaints against the three state that on Monday, April 20, police were called to the 900 block of 81st Street in Lino Lakes, MN on a report that a white Chevrolet Impala with Oregon plates had stopped at a mailbox and a male exited the vehicle and took mail from the box.
When police arrived in the area, they observed the vehicle, being driven by a female, leaving at a high rate of speed and passing other vehicles on the shoulder.
The vehicle pulled into a business parking lot on Lake Drive. When police caught up to it, they found a male and female outside the open door of the vehicle and observed another male wearing a hoodie flee into the woods carrying a backpack.
The two near the vehicle were identified as O’Malley, the driver, and Wefel, who were uncooperative and tried to walk away from police. Once the two were detained, police observed checks wrapped in paper towels in the back seat of the vehicle. Upon further examination, the checks had been altered by washing off the information, the complaint stated.
A further search of the vehicle found a purse belonging to O’Malley that contained checks that had been clearly altered, according to the complaint. Other checks were also located in the vehicle along with tax documents for a person in Forest Lake, bank statements and names and birthdates of various people. Police also found two packets inside the purse that contained a substance that tested positive for methamphetamine. The keys to the vehicle were found in O’Malley’s bra.
Officers eventually located the male who fled into the woods and identified him as Dalbec. Inside the backpack that Dalbec admitted ditching in the woods, officers found an inhaler prescribed to someone else, drug paraphernalia, five doses of the opioid Naloxone, a stolen South Dakota license plate, marijuana, and products suspected to be heroin and meth.
In subsequent interviews with police, Wefel admitted he took the mail and gave it to O’Malley. He said they were looking for checks. Dalbec told police that he’d been with Wefel and O’Malley for several weeks and that they’d been to Nebraska and North and South Dakota. He said that they were stealing mail to support their drug habit.
Wefel and O’Malley have been charged with one felony count each of mail theft. O’Malley was charged with two additional gross misdemeanor counts of fifth-degree controlled substance, and Dalbec was charged with one felony count of fifth-degree controlled substance.
All three made their initial court appearances on Wednesday and were granted public defenders. All three were released from custody the same day on zero bail by Judge Jenny Walker Jasper and are expected to make their next court appearances on June 16.
Wefel has another pending case in Washington County for financial transaction card fraud. His March 17 scheduled hearing in the case was canceled due to the “pandemic event,” according to court records.
Dalbec has five felony convictions in four counties since 2016. Four of the felony convictions are for controlled substance and the other is for theft. Dalbec received stays or stays-of-imposition in every felony case and was subsequently placed on probation in each case.
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