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A woman who was wrongly singled-out as a credit card fraudster and identity thief is suing the supermarket chain Safeway for $425,000 after the company mistakenly gave police the wrong surveillance video and circulated her image to newspapers and TV stations citing her as a potential fraudster.
Kelly Epperson, 44, who lives just outside Lincoln City on the central Oregon coast, had never been arrested nor had any criminal past, but police began looking for her after the grocery store put her image on a ‘most wanted’ list, after she was suspected of using a stolen credit card at her local Safeway.
Despite police attempting to correct the error the following day by clearly stating that she and her 13-year-old stepdaughter who was with her at the time, were not persons of interest, she has now filed a lawsuit in which she claims she has been shunned by the local community as a result of the error, leaving her reputation in tatters.
The Lincoln City Police Department issued a clarification explaining that it made a mistake and that it should not have implicated Ms Epperson and her stepdaughter in any criminal case
‘I have to explain myself, constantly,’ Ms. Epperson said to OregonLive.
The images may be dark and grainy, but her dinstictive tattoos were clearly visible on the CCTV footage that was made public.
She along with her teenage stepdaughter were easily recognized because they were both looking directly at the camera.
The lawsuit explains how ‘two females’ used a stolen credit card at Safeway and then again at nearby Chinook Winds Casino.
After police came to request the CCTV footage, the supermarket chain mistakenly handed over video of Epperson’s innocent shopping trip.