Woman Posing as Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy Arrested After Helping Boyfriend Escape Arkansas Jail

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Deputies have arrested an Arkansas woman who helped her boyfriend escape from a county jail last month by posing as a sheriff’s deputy from Ventura County.

Fayetteville resident Maxine Feldstein, 30, was arrested last Friday, Aug. 17, on suspicion of forgery, being an accomplice to third-degree escape and criminal impersonation, according to KTLA sister station KFSM in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Maxine Feldstein, left, and Nicholas Lowe are seen in photos released Aug. 17, 2018, by the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
Maxine Feldstein, left, and Nicholas Lowe are seen in photos released Aug. 17, 2018, by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Feldstein’s boyfriend, Nicholas Lowe, was at the Washington County Detention Center on July 27 with a hold for criminal impersonation out of Ventura, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Feldstein, who had bonded out earlier that day, called Washington County jail staff and identified herself as deputy “L. Kershaw” with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. She also provided a forged VCSO document releasing the agency’s hold on Lowe.

Jail staff learned of the forgery and accidental release two days later, when a VCSO deputy called to say he was on his way to pick up Lowe.

The sheriff’s office discovered through jail video that Lowe told Feldstein to pose as a VCSO deputy while she visited him, according to the affidavit.

Lowe said Feldstein should tell Washington County that VCSO was “having issues with overcrowding and all low-priority extraditions have been suspended,” according to the affidavit.

Washington County later confirmed the VCSO document Feldstein used was fake, and that VCSO didn’t have a deputy named “L. Kershaw,” according to the affidavit.

Lowe was also arrested Friday and faces a felony charge of second-degree escape.

A spokeswoman for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said the agency is “still evaluating to determine the best corrective action needed to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

“There is a procedure to ensure requests are legitimate, and that hasn’t changed,” she said.

Feldstein and Lowe were being held Friday at the Washington County Detention Center on bonds of $16,500 and $15,000, respectively, inmate records show.

The pair has hearings set for Sept. 5 in Washington County Circuit Court.

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