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PALM COAST, FL – The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) posted an attempt to identify notice on social media on Thursday, August 6th, regarding a wallet stolen from the Palm Coast Walmart on August 4th. Within hours, FCSO had received dozens of tips identifying the subject as 33-year-old Ivy Lee Bentz.
The night of the theft, the victim received notification of unauthorized activity on multiple accounts. The password and PIN number to her accounts were also changed and one account was compromised.
Deputies reviewed store surveillance footage which shows the victim place her wallet on a shelf while tending to a small child. She then walks away leaving the wallet behind by mistake. A short time later a female, now known to be Bentz, picks up the wallet and walks through the store while looking through the contents of the wallet. A short time later, she is seen leaving the store after paying cash for her items.
Bentz herself contacted FCSO on the night of August 6th and identified herself as the person pictured in the attempt to identify post on social media. Bentz told deputies that she took the wallet and drove to the victim’s home on Prospect Lane and put the wallet in the mailbox. She claimed to not want to leave the wallet with Walmart employees in fear that they might steal the contents.
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On August 7th, when deputies asked Bentz to describe the house where she returned the wallet, she could not recall the address, which side the driveway was on, or that the home is a duplex. Investigative measures showed the Bentz did not travel anywhere near the victim’s home after leaving Walmart. Bentz agreed to take deputies to the house where she returned the wallet. After going into her own house to gather her belongings, another female, 55-year-old Lisa Caldwell emerged and handed deputies her phone stating that attorney Glen Reid wished to speak with deputies. The attorney said his client would not answer any more questions or cooperate until she confers with counsel.
The victim notified deputies just after 2:30 p.m. on August 7th that someone found her wallet on the lawn next to her home. The woman who returned the wallet was identified as Caldwell. Once the wallet was returned the victim found that it was missing $300 and her grandmother’s gold hair pins, the most important heirloom for the victim.
Detectives reached out to Caldwell requesting the return of the heirloom but Caldwell was not cooperative. Detectives alerted Caldwell that she could face charges of tampering with evidence
An arrest warrant for Bentz was obtained for the charges of fraudulent use of personal identification, unauthorized possession of a driver’s license, unauthorized possession of a credit card, and petit theft. She was located on Tuesday afternoon and booked into the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility and held on a $5,000 bond.
An arrest warrant for Caldwell was obtained for the charge of tampering with physical evidence. Caldwell turned herself into the Flagler County Jail on Wednesday. She was booked and released after posting a $2,500 bond.
“We appreciate our community engaging with us online and helping us to identify the suspect in this case,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Working together with our community using Guardianship policing is another reason why crime has dropped 47% since 2016. Continue to send us tips so we can continue to keep Flagler County safe. ”
Bentz has no prior arrests in Flagler County. Caldwell has prior arrests in Flagler County for domestic violence, aggravated battery, marijuana possession, driving without a license, and violation of pretrial release.