WEST UNION, IOWA – Six people are in jail or wanted after they took advantage of an Iowa man, and one of the female suspects tried to get away, leading police to hunt her with drones and dogs.
After a week long investigation, the Fayette County Sheriff’s office charged six people in a theft ring that targeted a West Union resident.
The investigation uncovered that at least six people took advantage of a West Union resident by posing as caretakers and home repair workers and stealing thousands of dollars from his account.
Investigators found that over 35 checks from the victim’s account were written to the suspects under false pretenses and deception; posing as caretakers and home repair workers over the last two months. It was learned that:
1) Chelsea Leann Rasmussen, age 24, of West Union, had taken over $550.00 and was charged with Theft in the third degree (Aggravated Misdemeanor)
2) Charles John Fels, age 29, of West Union, had taken over $500.00 and was charged with Theft in the third degree (Aggravated Misdemeanor)
3) Michael Leyton Walters, age 30, of Manchester, had taken over $4,000.00 and was charged with Theft in the second degree (Class “D” Felony)
4) Darcy Ann Miner, age 25, of Jesup, had taken over $4,000.00 and was charged with Theft in the second degree (Class “D” Felony)
5) Ashley Marie White, age 30, of Hawkeye, had taken over $5,000.00 and was charged with Theft in the second degree (Class “D” Felony)
6) Patsy Ann Martin, age 46, of West Union, had taken over $18,000.00 and was charged with Theft in the first degree ( Class “C” Felony)
Arrest warrants were issued for all six subjects and on August 15, 2017 Rasmussen, Fels, White, and Martin were taken into custody, transported to the Fayette County Jail and held on a $10,000.00 bond. Martin led authorities on a short chase and subsequent manhunt after she was seen running into a cornfield on Hill Road outside Fayette. Deputies used the drone and K-9 to conduct a search, later locating her hiding in a cornfield.
The investigation is still ongoing and more charges likely will be filed, with additional arrests expected. The Sheriff’s Office was able to recover over $6,000.00 in cash.
Miner and Walters are still at large and active warrants for their arrest are in place.