A Brookfield man stole two purses out of his neighbor’s car and used credit cards inside to buy items at multiple stores, including a lizard for his brother, charges allege.
Nicholas T. Ruehl, 19, was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court Wednesday with identity theft for financial gain, possession of a switchblade knife and possession of a synthetic cannabinoid. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison and $30,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint:
On March 18, Brookfield police officers were called to a residence in the 17800 block of Nassau Drive after a woman reported someone had broken into her car and stolen two purses. The purses contained several credit cards, the woman’s checkbook, her driver’s license and $10 cash.
The next day, investigators discovered Ruehl went to the Pewaukee Walmart and purchased a neckless for nearly $300, two pillows and a blanket. They also discovered charges at several other stores, including Pet World in Waukesha where Ruehl bought a lizard.
Police noticed Ruehl’s car looked like one near the victim’s residence and they went to his house where he was arrested. Officers found a switchblade knife in his pocket along with K2 synthetic marijuana.
Ruehl told investigators he found the credit cards in a purse that was lying in the road, so he used the cards to make the purchases, including a lizard for his brother.
He was told to appear in court July 2.