Oregon State Police say a Southern California woman faces felony charges after a suspicious traffic stop near Ashland led to the seizure of stolen checks, nearly a dozen stolen driver’s licenses and a handful of counterfeit bills.
Amber Rae Westrup, 29, of Fallbrook, California, was arraigned Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court on felony forgery and aggravated identity theft charges stemming from a Sunday afternoon arrest on Interstate 5 in which OSP troopers allegedly found 11 California driver’s licenses and seven stolen checks, according to documents filed by police.
At about 1:40 p.m. Sunday, the trooper stopped Westrup’s green Nissan near Exit 19 near Ashland, after she allegedly failed to signal before changing lanes, according to an affidavit filed by OSP. During the stop, police spotted a vaporizing device typically used to consume heroin and prescription pills.
“I confronted Ms. Westrup about the smoking device and she said it was used for her makeup,” a trooper wrote in the affidavit.
A search of Westrup’s Nissan yielded eight counterfeit bills in $50 and $100 denominations, 11 California driver’s licenses that weren’t Westrup’s and seven stolen checks, the affidavit says.
When confronted, Westrup told police that she was moving and “just grabbed her friends’ stuff out of the apartment,” the trooper’s affidavit says.
Other court documents filed in her case show that Westrup faces a felony charge of aggravated identity theft stemming from the 11 stolen driver’s licenses.
The charge of aggravated identity theft, a Class B felony, applies when a suspect commits nine or more separate incidents of identity theft within a period of 180 days, according to an indictment filed by Deputy District Attorney Melissa LeRitz.
Westrup also faces eight felony counts of first-degree forgery stemming from each bill of counterfeit money and four misdemeanor counts of second-degree possessing a forged instrument related to the stolen checks.
At her initial court appearance Monday, Circuit Court Judge Patricia Crain set Westrup’s bail at $50,000, with conditions upon release including regular check-ins, no consumption of alcohol or intoxicants and random drug and breath tests.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Westrup remained lodged in the Jackson County Jail, records show.
Reach Mail Tribune reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.