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Former Hostess Charged With Identity Theft

Former Charro employee from Waukesha took customer's credit card and used it to make big purchases with her boyfriend, charges allege.

While working as a hostess for a now defunct Town of Brookfield restaurant, a woman stole a customer’s credit card and racked up purchases at stores in Brookfield and Waukesha, charges allege.

Jennifer M. Hildebrandt, 22, of Waukesha, was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court Friday with one count of theft and six counts of identity theft for financial gain. If convicted of all charges, she faces a maximum penalty of nearly 37 years in prison and $70,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint:

On Jan. 30, 2010, the victim ate at the then-open restaurant and paid with a credit card, but realized later she never got her card back after paying the bill. A few days later, she discovered someone made seven unauthorized transactions with her card on Jan. 31.

The transactions included a $523 purchase at Bed, Bath and Beyond; a $70 purchase at Ulta; a $38.50 purchase at a Waukesha gas station and a $450 purchase at a Waukesha Target. A $320 purchase was also attempted at a Waukesha Pick ‘n Save and at a gas station.

Investigators looked at surveillance video footage of the transactions and found Hildebrandt and her boyfriend Timothy A. Wright, 23, of Waukesha, using the card. Hildebrandt told officers she took the card while working as a hostess at the restaurant, then went with her boyfriend to make the purchases.

Wright told investigators he thought Hildebrandt was joking when she told him she stole the card, but when the card was declined at Pick ‘n Save, he used his own money to pay for the items. Wright also was charged with six counts of identity theft, which upon conviction carries a maximum sentence of 36 years in prison and $60,000 in fines.

Arrest warrants were issued for the duo.

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