Arrest expected next week in acid hoax theft charges

From KOIN.com, September 21, 2010

Read the affidavit of probable cause, written by Vancouver Police Detective W. Stephan on September 20. It’s clear he understood from his initial investigation on August 31 Bethany Storro was not telling the truth about being attacked. If they had a better understanding of mental illness, officers could have intervened immediately and averted her defrauding compassionate neighbors and friends. Instead she becomes fodder for an ambitious assistant district attorney.

Prosecuting attorneys for Clark County filed theft charges Monday against Bethany Storro, who admitted to burning her own face with drain cleaner Aug. 30.

In a story that was first reported in The Columbian, Clark County Deputy Prosecutor Tony Golik said he filed three second-degree theft charges against the 28-year-old Storro, who admitted last week that her acid burns on her face were self-inflicted.

“And the aggravator is, that the defendant, Ms. Storro, took the money from victims who were acting as good samaritans when they gave the money,” said Golik.

Golik said Tuesday that Storro, who is still hospitalized, will not be taken into custody until she’s released from the hospital. He is expecting an arrest next week.

At that time, Storro can either turn herself in, or officers will arrest her, Golik said.

According to the probable cause papers filed by Vancouver Police,fundraisers for Storro raised more than $25,000 via several outlets.

Storro even garnered $1,000 via PayPal from a donor in California, according to Vancouver Police.

In a lengthy confession with investigators, Storro said she purchased the drain cleaner from a local hardware store and harmed herself in an effort to commit suicide.

Police said Storro already spent some of the funds she collected on a new computer and a trip to Seattle.

She is not presently in police custody but authorities said they are aware of her location.