By Chris Hendrickson, Monitor
A Sultan man was arrested in Monroe on Friday, Oct. 25 and booked into Snohomish County Jail for investigation of identity theft as well as position of stolen property. He was in possession of a deceased Kirkland woman’s debit card at the time of his arrest.
The arrest took place on Friday morning when a Kirkland police detective, working with the Monroe Police Department, served a search warrant at a Monroe house where the Sultan man was suspected to have recently taken up residence. Police located the suspect’s vehicle in the driveway and proceeded to search the house and make the arrest.
The Sultan man was booked into Snohomish County Jail on Friday and released on Tuesday, Oct. 29 on $15,000 bail. Formal charges have not yet been filed and the investigation is ongoing.
The debit card in the Sultan man’s possession belonged to an elderly Kirkland woman named Elaine Golberg who died at her Juanita area condominium complex on May 2. Golberg had apparently fallen from her fifth story unit, a fall which resulted in her death. At the time, the police believed it to be a suicide.
Then in September, a Monroe Police Officer received new information during a disturbance call which suggested that the suspect may have had a hand in Goldberg’s death, and that the suspect had access to the deceased woman’s bank account and was currently utilizing her bank card to make unauthorized purchases.
The Monroe Police Department forwarded their report the Kirkland Police detective who had investigated Golberg’s death in May, who then obtained a search warrant through King County Superior Court to access Golberg’s US Bank account information, including her transaction history.
The detective was able to determine that there were nearly 100 fraudulent charges made on Goldberg’s bank account between the dates of June 26 and Sept. 14, 2013.
Further, the detective analyzed both video footage and still images showing the suspect using Goldberg’s debit card at several Monroe businesses, as well as businesses in Lynnwood and Seattle. Other purchases were made at numerous gas stations both in and near Monroe.
The suspect was charged earlier this year in Snohomish County Superior Court for felony possession of a controlled substance. He had been caught with what was determined to be 3.02 grams of heroin in July of 2012. Other previous convictions include theft, carrying a concealed dangerous weapon and reckless driving.
The investigation is currently ongoing.