ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix woman accused of committing fraud in Surprise

Jun 6, 2024, 8:00 PM

Phoenix woman accused of committing fraud, Surprise police say...

Surprise police accused 51-year-old Michelle Lidster of fraud. (Surprise Police Department photos)

(Surprise Police Department photos)

PHOENIX — The Surprise Police Department arrested a Phoenix woman accused of committing fraud on Wednesday.

Michelle Lidster, 51, used fraudulent checks to cheat local businesses and stole mail in a residential neighborhood, police said.

Authorities arrested Lidster after detectives served a search warrant at a residence in Wittmann, police said. This unincorporated community in Maricopa County is around 15 miles northwest of Surprise.

Woman accused of committing fraud caught on camera, police say

Surprise PD first discovered Lidster’s alleged crimes in January.

Surveillance footage later filmed her stealing mail from a residential neighborhood in April, police said.

Surprise detectives then started partnering with local law enforcement agencies in other parts of the Valley to gather more information before ultimately arresting Lidster.

Lidster was booked into Maricopa County Intake and Release Jail on nine felony charges and one misdemeanor. These are the charges she faces as of Wednesday evening:

  • Theft of controlled property
  • Possessing a forged instrument
  • Having a forgery device
  • Theft of a credit card
  • Fraudulent schemes and artifices
  • Fraudulent use of a credit card
  • Trafficking stolen property
  • Illegal control of an enterprise
  • Aggravated ID theft
  • Being a prohibited possessor

The investigation is ongoing, which means Lidster may face additional charges later on, police said.

Surprise police reminded the public that fraud-based crimes take time.

Investigators have to be methodical and detailed to build successful cases against suspects like Lidster, police added.

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Phoenix woman accused of committing fraud in Surprise