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Woman accused of entering home, taking checkbook

April 21, 2010

A central Wisconsin woman has been accused of entering a Wauwatosa residence, taking a checkbook and trying cash the checks at a West Allis business.

Valentine Van Houten, 28, of Nekoosa was charged Wednesday with burglary and forgery, crimes that carry maximum penalties of up to $35,000 in fines and 18½ years in prison.

According to a criminal complaint:

The resident of a home in the 1500 block of North 124th Street was talking on the phone to her daughter when she heard a knock at the front door at 10:14 a.m. Friday. She saw Van Houten and stepped outside to talk to her.

Van Houten said her vehicle had run out of gas and that she needed money. When the homeowner refused to help, Van Houten grabbed her arm and the phone and ordered her back into the house.

The resident was able to run to a neighbor's home, but Van Houten dashed into the house and took a checkbook and the phone, and ran to the waiting car.

As the resident talked with officers, she got a call alerting her than a woman was trying to cash two check for $200 each at Ace Cash Express in West Allis.

The clerk said she refused to cash the first check because it was dated May 15. Van Houten then tried to hide that she was writing out another check.

Van Houten told officer she owed money, but she refused to identify who drove her to the house and check-cashing business.

She is being held at Milwaukee County Jail on $10,000 bail.

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