Police: Woman steals debit card, uses it to add cash to inmate account

By Tanya Mitchell | Mar 11, 2014
Source: File image

A Belfast woman is accused of stealing a debit card and using it to add more than $200 to an inmate account at the Maine State Prison in Warren, a man police later learned was her boyfriend.

Police with the Waldo County Sheriff's Office charged Joanna Glidden, 32, of Belfast, with theft by unauthorized taking or transfer, theft of lost, mislaid or mistakenly delivered property and misuse of identification.

Waldo County Chief Deputy Jeff Trafton said police started looking into a fraud complaint the department received Feb. 13. Trafton said a woman called to report she had lost her debit card while running errands in town, and estimated it had been about two hours since she last had the card with her.

Trafton said the woman went back to the last place she remembered using the card, but it was too late.

"It had already been used," said Trafton.

The woman learned that her card had been used to apply $204.80 to an account identified in bank records only as a maine.gov account, one that further police investigation revealed was for an inmate account at the Maine State Prison.

Deputy Kevin Littlefield investigated the matter further and was able to identify the inmate as Jeffrey Butler, a man who had formerly stayed in Belfast at some point in the past.

Littlefield also learned another key detail, Trafton said.

"[Butler's] girlfriend turned out to be Joanna Glidden," Trafton said.

Littlefield then checked prison records and learned that Glidden had been Butler's most recent visitor.

Littlefield then contacted Glidden and set up a meeting at her residence, Trafton said, at which time Glidden denied having any knowledge of the situation and eventually became angry.

Because all inmate phone calls are monitored, Trafton said, Littlefield obtained the recorded; phone calls between Butler and Glidden.

"We have her on the phone with him telling him she got a card and she just put money on his account," said Trafton, noting the call was placed around the same time the debit card was reported stolen.

At one point, Trafton said, Butler could be heard telling Glidden that if she had put $300 on his account he "could have got a TV."

Trafton said the case is still under investigation.

Glidden is scheduled to appear at Waldo County Superior Court in Belfast Thursday, May 1.

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