A Twin Falls man has been charged with four felony charges of using a stolen credit card following an investigation by the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office that determined he used the card multiple times over a two-day period in September.
Joseph Richard Veenstra, 26, was arrested on Sept. 20.
Detective Kerri Taylor testified during a preliminary hearing on Oct. 3 that she identified Veenstra through video surveillance footage that showed him using the card throughout Ketchum, Shoshone and Twin Falls. On one video, Taylor was able to identify the license plate number of a car he entered, and then found the registered owner’s Facebook page and searched that person’s friends list to find a friend whose photo matched the person in all the video footage—Veenstra.
The alleged victim testified in court that she was informed around 5:30 a.m. on Sept. 8 that one of her credit cards was found after a “pursuit and crash” (that incident is still under investigation and no details are being released by the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office). At that point, the alleged victim discovered that her purse, along with everything inside of it, had been stolen from her car. The following day, she went to the Ketchum Police Department to finalize a statement for the stolen purse, and while there, she received an alert that her credit card had just been used for a purchase of $422.94 at Wal-Mart in Twin Falls.
According to Taylor’s testimony, when brought in for questioning, Veenstra denied that he was the same person in the video seen using the credit card, but admitted he had knowledge of the pursuit and crash and that his backpack was in the vehicle involved—but he wasn’t.
Taylor testified that Veenstra told her he was in Twin Falls on Sept. 7 and had come up to Blaine County the following day to retrieve his backpack from the vehicle that was involved in the crash. According to Taylor, Veenstra was also not very forthcoming about how he came into possession of the stolen credit card that he allegedly used—telling her that he had obtained the wallet that the card was in by finding it behind a power box in Ketchum. When asked how he knew the wallet was there, he allegedly said “he just knew.”
Veenstra remains in jail with a bail of $50,000. His case was bound over to District Court on Oct. 3 after a judge found sufficient evidence for the case to be tried as a felony crime. No arraignment in District Court had been scheduled as of Tuesday.