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Woman sought for stealing $15,000 check from 80-year-old

STEVINSON -- Sheriff's deputies are seeking a middle-aged woman in connection with the theft of a $15,000 insurance check from an 80-year-old woman.

Deputy Tom MacKenzie, Merced County Sheriff's spokesman, said the victim woke up Monday night and saw a woman rummaging around in her house in the 2100 block of Highway 140 in Stevinson. When asked what she was doing, the woman explained she was wet, cold and looking for some dry clothes to wear.

When she awoke Tuesday morning, the victim discovered the $15,000 check she received from an insurance company as reimbursement for earlier fire damage was missing from her purse. The victim, who asked to remain anonymous, recognized the woman from prior contacts but couldn't remember her name.

The suspect is described as a woman in her 40s, approximately 5 feet, 5 inches tall, with a thin build, sandy blond hair and a mole on her cheek. MacKenzie said the victim is forced to live in a small shack next to her damaged house and planned on rebuilding her home.

Deputy Tim Smith, who received the call, believes that the suspect may live in the Ceres area. If you have any information, call the sheriff's Major Crimes Unit at 725-3880.