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RACINE — A caregiver for a legally blind person is accused of identity theft and stealing more than $5,000 from that person’s bank account during a seven-month time period earlier this year.

Valerie Peterson, 42, 1108 Wisconsin Ave., Racine, is charged with one felony count of identity theft and one misdemeanor count of fraudulent use of a credit card. The felony carries a maximum possible prison term of six years and a $10,000 fine.

Peterson, who is free on a $350 cash bond, is due back in Racine County Circuit Court on Thursday at 8:30 a.m.

Criminal complaint: Identity theft, stealing

An investigator with the Racine Police Department received a fraud complaint from the victim’s bank, which indicated the defendant had made $1,550 in purchases from Starbucks and $4,043.24 from Door Dash without the victim’s consent.

The alleged thefts happened between Jan. 3 and Aug. 24 of this year, the complaint states.

One of the Starbucks purchases was made at the Racine location, while the others were online. All of the Door Dash orders went to an address other than the victim’s, so police were unable to view any surveillance video.

The Door Dash orders came from around Racine County, including Dynasty Family Restaurant, Wing Stop, Taco Bell, Panera and Marci’s on Main, the complaint states.

Peterson stated she used the victim’s credit card, but “it was a mistake, and she had no idea it was attached to her cellphone.” The defendant also told police she thought it was her own credit card that was being used, and that “she never checked her bank statement.”

The defendant said she’d use the card to get Starbucks for herself and the victim, but the victim stated she never got Starbucks. Peterson also told police she was allowed to use the victim’s card for groceries, the store and food, according to the complaint.

Another caregiver who worked with Peterson at the same Racine home also was sending money to a person incarcerated at the Racine County Jail, the complaint states.


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