Walmart thief charged in alleged check cashing scam

Published 7:17 am Friday, August 3, 2012

A Rochester woman convicted of stealing more than $2,000 of electronics, fleeing and assaulting an officer and possessing drugs in July 2011 has been arrested and charged with felony check forgery.

Beth Marie Hansen, 26 — on 10 years’ probation for the above conviction — was arrested Thursday and charged in Mower County Court. She and another woman, Kandyce Kristen Keeler, were allegedly passing fake checks at Bobee Jo’s bar in Austin in June and later caught. A detective discovered that Hansen, who was identified on surveillance, was being investigated in Rochester along with Keeler for forgery. According to the complaint, police believe Keeler was making the checks and Hansen was helping pass them. They also believe Keeler tried to cash two of the three checks at Bobee Jo’s Bar. An employee caught wind of the alleged scam during the third check passing. The women were allegedly using the name “Felicia Pigeon” as the account holder.

Hansen’s next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 16, along with her probation violation hearing on last year’s conviction.

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Officers arrested Hansen last year after she left Walmart with thousands of dollars worth of products, led them on a 100 mph chase, hit a spike strip, drove into a curb in Austin and then fled into the woods.

When police seized the missing electronics from the vehicle, they also found a digital scale, a methamphetamine pipe, a vial testing positive for cocaine and two containers with marijuana residue, the court complaint states.