'Modern Grifter' Busted in Walnut Creek

Woman accused of shoplifting at Broadway Plaza has a history of serial identity thefts that had Philadelphia media calling her and boyfriend 'Bonnie and Clyde'

"Bonnie" was apparently busted in Walnut Creek last week, but there was no word about "Clyde."

Who knows? Maybe a movie about this high-flying criminal couple — whose story has drawn the interest of actress Natalie Portman — might have a scene in Broadway Plaza.

On the afternoon of Sunday, June 17, Jocelyn Kirsch, 26, was arrested on suspicion of commercial burglary and possession of stolen property at Broadway Plaza in downtown Walnut Creek.

Kirsch is apparently the same woman who was fodder for Philadelphia tabloids and Rolling Stone magazine five years ago when she sentenced to federal time for multiple instances of identity theft to support a lifestyle of luxury travel to Paris and the Caribbean.

Dubbed "Bonnie and Clyde" by the press in Philly, Kirsch and her ex-beau, Edward Anderton, once a swimmer for the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania, stole the identities from numerous people to gain more than $116,000 in top-shelf goods and services in 2006 and 2007, reported the Associated Press.

At that time, Kirsch, a former student at Drexel University in Philadelphia, reportedly engaged in identity theft in Northern California, where her mother lives, while she was awaiting sentencing in federal court in Pennsylvania.

'Surefire movie'

The tale of "modern grifters" is a "surefire movie idea," according to a piece on the website of movie star Natalie Portman, who won't necessarily act in a movie treatment.

The latest arrest was good work by local police and store security, reported the Facebook page of the Walnut Creek Police Association.

"While property crimes like shoplifting, fraud and identify theft are commonplace for a popular retail destination like Walnut Creek, this case was unique given the history of the arrestee," the website stated.

A charge of commercial burglary involving shoplifting came from the Nordstrom store at Broadway Plaza, police reported. A charge of possession of stolen property was connected with Banana Republic.

Kirsch was booked into Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez, reported Sgt. Tracie Reese.

In October 2008, U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno chided Kirsch for "visiting harm on at least 50 victims," many of them friends and colleagues. He said "Bonnie" had benefited from "the best that America can offer — good schools, an opportunity to grow up in a safe environment."

Robreno sentenced her to five years in prison, with mental health treatment, and to pay $100,000 in restitution, according to Philly.com.

The Philadelphia media had a field day when photos of "Bonnie and Clyde" snuggling in Paris as well as Kirsch in a bikini, found on a laptop computer, were introduced as part of the prosecution.


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