A western Lincoln County woman has been charged with food stamp fraud and identity theft.
A Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office deputy conducted a traffic stop on Tuesday of a van driven by Sandra Lynn Gaul, 46, of Clarence Beam Road in Cherryville. During the review of the report, Detective Dan Snellings discovered that among items located in Gaul’s purse was an EBT card that belonged to a woman who lived on Hoover Road in Vale, but was now institutionalized in a nursing facility, where she has been since May.
After confirming that the individual was still in the nursing home, Snellings checked with the Lincoln County Department of Social Services to see if the EBT card had been used. He discovered that purchases were made at a number of businesses since June 1. Follow-up visits were conducted at several locations where the card had been used and deputies said video surveillance confirmed it was Gaul who used the card.
Gaul was charged with 12 counts of identity theft and eight misdemeanor counts of illegal possession and use of food stamps/EBT card.
Deputies said they went Gaul’s home to arrest her on Wednesday but she fled the house through a back window. Deputies gave chase and located Gaul in a nearby wooded area.
She was taken before a Lincoln County magistrate, where additional charges of resiting an officer and possession of drug paraphernalia were field. She was issued a $52,000 secured bond.