An Arkansas woman has joined her boyfriend in jail after pretending via email to be a California deputy in order to help him escape to freedom.
Maxine Feldstein, 30, was arrested on August 17 in Jackson County, Missouri, and charged with forgery, accomplice to escape, and criminal impersonation, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, after she tried to pass as a fake Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy named “L. Kershaw” to assist Nicholas Lowe break out of jail, ABC News reports.
Lowe was arrested the same day and charged with second-degree escape, police records show.
Initially, however, Lowe was at the Washington County Detention Center on July 27, with a hold for criminal impersonation out of Ventura, California, KFSM reports.
But he left the jail that day after police in Washington County received a document via email — believed to be forged — from Deputy Kershaw of Ventura County, purportedly releasing the agency’s hold on Lowe, according to ABC.
Feldstein called the Washington County office earlier in the day — in character as Kershaw — asking an officer if he had received a fax from her office regarding its hold on Lowe. The real officer responded with instructions on where to email the document.
Staff at the jail realized their mistake two days later, when a Ventura County Sheriff’s Office deputy called and said he was coming over to pick up the suspect, according to KFSM.
The couple’s plans then gradually came to light. Ultimately, police found a jailhouse video in which Lowe instructed Feldstein to visit him as a Ventura County Sheriff’s Office deputy, and also to tell officials in Washington County that her office was “having issues with overcrowding and all low-priority extraditions have been suspended,” KFSM reported.
Feldstein and Lowe both have September 5 court appearances, and each have a $15,000 bond, police records show.
[Photo credits: Washington County Sheriff's Department]