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Brazen Suspect Fakes a Lease Agreement and Occupies House without Owner’s Knowledge
On November 23, 2019, a YCSO deputy was dispatched to a trespassing/fraud call in the 1300 block of W. Quartz Road, Prescott. The deputy met with the property owners who explained that a family was living there and claimed they were renting the house. The property owners, who generally live in the valley, gave no one permission to rent the home. When they arrived to check the property, they found a couple unloading a moving truck.
HeinrichDeputies contacted a male and female adult, both claiming they were renters. The woman, identified as 45-year-old Stephanie Heinrich, showed deputies a residential lease agreement with a move in date of November 1, 2019 and ending on November 1, 2030, making the lease agreement good for 11 years. Stephanie told the deputy an elaborate story as to how she came to lease the house from the son of a man she had cared for who recently passed away. She also claimed to work as a nurse at the local hospital. The lease agreement paperwork identified a property manager/attorney with an office on Gurley Street in Prescott. The paperwork also included the attorney’s signature. Deputies tracked down the attorney and confirmed he did not know this couple, had no connection to the property, and never signed such an agreement.
Additionally, the lease agreement showed an address in Idaho where the monthly rent was to be sent. Deputies contacted law enforcement in the town identified and confirmed that no such address existed. Deputies confirmed via county records that the reporting parties were the true property owners. Deputies also determined she was not a nurse and verified no connection to the local hospital.
After an extensive follow-up investigation, detectives sought and obtained a search warrant for the property to gather additional evidence in the case. On November 25, 2019, deputies returned to the property assisted by YCSO detectives. No one was home at the time, but under authority of the warrant, a search for evidence began. A short time later, the male renter, Stephanie’s boyfriend, arrived at the property. When interviewed, he confirmed Stephanie told him about the property after hearing about it from a person she had cared for who recently died. She was now dealing with the decedent’s son who allowed them to lease the home. The male renter admitted the lease was suspicious because he never met or spoke with the parties involved and only signed the lease at Stephanie’s request. He did note that Stephanie “lies all the time.”
A short time later, Stephanie arrived at the home during the search warrant service and after being confronted with the evidence, admitted she downloaded legal documents and forged all the information. When asked why she went through all the trouble, Stephanie explained that she and her family were struggling and did not know what to do. She made up the story about the death of the property owner because she did not want her boyfriend to find out they were in financial trouble.
Stephanie was arrested and booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center on charges including Forgery x4 and Fraud. She remains in-custody on a $75,000 cash bond.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO : www.ycsoaz.gov
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