2 arrested for theft case involving 300 victims

Police searched Lake Oswego motel room, found stolen goods

Paul Herbert and Jennifer Coffman are accused of stealing from 300 people. (West Linn Police)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Two people were arrested Tuesday after West Linn police searched their motel room and found thousands of dollars worth of stolen goods.

It all started along Oregon 43 in West Linn when police pulled over a car they said didn’t stop at a stop sign. The vehicle also had no license plates.

Paul Herbert and Jennifer Coffman are accused of stealing from 300 people. (West Linn Police)
Paul Herbert and Jennifer Coffman are accused of stealing from 300 people. (West Linn Police)

Paul Herbert, 43, and Jennifer Coffman, 42, were arrested after authorities learned they paid for the Lake Oswego motel room they were staying at with prepaid debit cards purchased with stolen credit cards. In their motel room, officers said they found meth, stolen property, other items paid for using the prepaid debit cards, luggage from the Portland airport and other evidence of identity theft such as forged driver licenses and credit cards.

Of particular interest, investigators also found ledgers that listed dozens of names, addresses, dates of birth and driver license numbers. Authorities said they believe the couple made phony temporary paper driver licenses like the kind people get from the DMV until their new card arrives.

Investigators believe they then used those fake documents to apply for credit cards at stores and used those cards to buy merchandise.

Officials say as many as 300 people from Portland, West Linn and Lake Oswego are victims of Herbert and Coffman. Many victims may not yet know their information was stolen, especially when thieves open up a new credit account in their name.

Herbert is charged with identity theft and possession of a forged instrument. Coffman is charged with identity theft, possession of a forged instrument and had warrants out in Multnomah and Clackamas counties for ID theft, possession of meth and possession of forged instruments.