A New York woman faces felony charges in Centre County after allegedly attempting to fraudulently purchase cellphones.
According to the criminal complaint filed by State College police, an officer responded at about 2:45 p.m. Saturday to the Verizon store along East College Avenue. An employee reported a woman wanted in connection with a fraud incident in Altoona was at the store.
The employee reported that the woman, later identified as Franchesca M. Lachapel, 24, had told another employee she wanted to purchase five iPhone 7 Pluses, valued at $4,300, police said. She provided a Pennsylvania driver’s license under the name Dailey with a date of birth and Social Security number.
The first employee reportedly recognized Lachapel from a fraud report and incident at the Roaring Spring Verizon store and an interaction with her at the Altoona store, police said. He advised the second employee to keep her in the store as long as possible while he called police.
Officers spoke with Lachapel upon arrival, police said, and were eventually given her correct name and date of birth. She was taken into custody.
Officers reportedly found a silver anklet and silver earrings in her coat pocket, which she confirmed had been taken from Bon-Ton and were valued at $75, police said. Police allegedly also located a powder, which field-tested positive as heroin, and tablets, identified as Xanax, on her as well.
She was arraigned Saturday by District Judge Thomas Jordan, according to court documents, and charged with felony counts of forgery, access device fraud and identity theft, and misdemeanor charges of false identification to law enforcement and possession of a controlled substance. Bail was set at $150,000.
A preliminary hearing is slated for March 29.