Woman pretended to be friend who looks like her to avoid theft charge, police say

A Cache County woman has been charged with pretending to be a woman who looks like her in order to avoid a retail theft charge.
A Cache County woman has been charged with pretending to be a woman who looks like her in order to avoid a retail theft charge. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

A Smithfield woman has been charged with pretending to be another woman who looks like her in an effort to avoid a shoplifting charge.

Clarisa Beth Otasua, 36, was charged last week in 1st District Court with retail theft and obstructing justice, third-degree felonies; and giving false personal information, a class A misdemeanor.

In November, Logan police made contact with a woman, later identified as Otasua, at WinCo regarding a retail theft incident. The woman gave police her name and she was issued a retail theft citation, according to a police booking affidavit.

Police later received a phone call from a woman with the same name Otasua had given them, the affidavit states. She informed officers that "she had not committed the retail theft and (said) she has a previous acquaintance, (Otasua), who looked a lot like her but has used her name in the past when she has gotten in trouble."

Police identified Otasua, who admitted upon questioning to using the other woman's name, according to the arrest report.

Otasua was also booked into jail Monday in a separate case for investigation of multiple counts of drug possession.

State court records show she has burglary, forgery, identify theft, shoplifting and drug possession convictions dating back to 2011.