Fayetteville, AR – A woman who impersonated a law enforcement officer in a successful attempt to help her boyfriend escape from jail has been apprehended, police said.
Maxine Feldstein, 30, and her boyfriend, Nicholas Lowe, 23, were originally arrested on July 14, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
Feldstein was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, and bonded out of the Washington County Detention Center on July 15.
Lowe, who had an outstanding warrant from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO) for false impersonation, remained in custody.
When Feldstein went to visit him at the jail, the two concocted a plan.
According to investigators, Lowe told Feldstein to call the Washington County Detention Center and tell them that the VCSO was “having issues with overcrowding and all low-priority extraditions have been suspended,” The Wichita Eagle reported.
On July 27, Feldstein placed a call to the detention center and claimed she was VCSO Deputy “L. Kershaw.”
She told the jail that Lowe was being released due to overcrowding in California, and proceeded to fax over “authentic looking” paperwork authorizing his release, The Wichita Eagle reported.
Lowe was subsequently turned lose.
Two days later, an actual VCSO deputy contacted the facility to let them know he was about two hours away from arriving at the detention center to pick Lowe up for his extradition to California.
Washington County deputies then reviewed video footage of Feldstein’s visit with Lowe, and realized what had occurred, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
A Washington County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said the department was “still evaluating to determine the best corrective action needed to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” KFSM reported.
"There is a procedure to ensure requests are legitimate, and that hasn't changed," she added.
The couple was apprehended on Friday.
Feldstein has been charged with forgery, criminal impersonation, and accomplice to escape, and is being held on $16,500 bond, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
Lowe has been charged with escape, and is being held on $15,000 bond.
Both are scheduled to appear in Washington County Circuit Court on Sep. 5, KFSM reported.