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Alleged I.D. thief wants trial

Schaeffler remains in custody

Posted: October 30, 2008 9:05 p.m.
Updated: January 1, 2009 5:00 a.m.
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A man charged with four theft-related felonies for allegedly using his girlfriend’s credit card to run up thousands of dollars in purchases is going straight to trial without a preliminary hearing.

William R. Schaeffler, with a shaved head and wearing a bright yellow jail-issued shirt and bright blue issued pants, scanned the faces of about 30 courtroom attendees as a sheriff’s deputy led him into Santa Clarita Superior Court Thursday morning. He smiled at a middle-aged woman sitting front and center in the courtroom, mouthed a couple of words and sat next to his attorney, Thomas Tibor.

When Commissioner Harold S. Vites asked him if he gave up his right to a preliminary hearing, Schaeffler said “yes.”

Vites ordered Schaeffler to appear for an arraignment Nov. 13 in Department J of the North Valley courthouse.
“I order the defendant, Mr. Schaeffer, be held to answer the complaints,” Vites said.

Schaeffler remains in custody on $110,000 bail.

Vites listed the four felony charges against Schaeffler:
n Identity theft — Anyone who uses the identity of someone else to obtain, attempt to obtain, credit, goods, services, real property or medical information without that person’s consent.
n Credit card/debit card information theft — Anyone who uses someone else’s “access card” information without that person’s consent is guilty of grand theft.
n Burglary — Anyone who enters a house, room, apartment, tenement shop, warehouse, store, mill, barn, stable, outhouse or several other buildings listed in Penal Code sec. 459 intending to steal is guilt of burglary.
n Grand theft — Theft is considered grand theft when the money, labor or real property stolen is valued at more than $400.

Los Angeles Police officers arrested Schaeffler Aug. 29 when they responded to an unrelated domestic call. He is accused of stealing a former girlfriend’s identity to purchase thousands of dollars of merchandise at Santa Clarita Valley retailers in August.

Over a five-year period Schaeffler allegedly used the victim’s identity to open credit card accounts to fund his spending sprees. The victim won a civil judgment against Schaeffler in 2005 for $300,000. Schaeffler allegedly hasn’t paid any money, she said.

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