Serial thief Dawn Marie Rassett, convicted just five years ago for her east-metro spending spree with stolen credit cards, is back in prison after another round of thefts from fitness centers, churches and even a mortuary.
Rassett's recent criminal acts, for which she was convicted in Ramsey County, involved victims in more than a dozen cities, criminal complaints show. Several other charges of theft and financial fraud are awaiting court action in Washington County.
"This woman is just prolific and she's brazen," said Laurie Anderson, a Washington County prosecutor handling three of four cases against Rassett in that county. "She has no conscience."
Since 1997, Rassett has been convicted of 17 felonies, according to Ramsey County court documents. They include credit card abuse and theft of property in Texas, receiving stolen property, two burglaries, three identity thefts and six check forgeries.
On recent charges, investigators immediately recognized Rassett, 46, of Maplewood, from digital surveillance videos after she allegedly used stolen credit cards, according to criminal complaints.
In March, she was convicted in Ramsey County for identity theft and was sentenced to 100 months at Shakopee women's prison. She stole personal identification and wallets from churches in White Bear Lake, North St. Paul and Maplewood, and from a mortuary in North St. Paul.
Other targets included a community center, a recreation center and a bakery.
In Washington County, alleged thefts included a purse stolen from a classroom at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stillwater, business checks stolen in Woodbury, and computer and hockey equipment stolen from a car at a sports shop in Stillwater.
Current charges echo her past — just a few years ago, Rassett's convictions included thefts at schools, churches, a doctor's office and even a wedding.
"The defendant has an extensive felony theft-related criminal history and warrant history," said one Washington County complaint.
Anderson described Rassett as an accomplished thief, "opportunistic" in her skill in finding unattended wallets and purses in lockers, desks and other out-of-sight places.
She is charged with seven felonies in Washington County in the latest court filings. Rassett made purchases of hundreds of dollars each at stores in Stillwater, Oak Park Heights and Woodbury, and she also forged checks, the complaints say.
In October 2010, Rassett pleaded guilty to felony charges of financial fraud and identity theft in Washington County. She was sentenced to about nine months in the county jail but was eligible for work release during the day.
Two months later, in December 2010, she pleaded guilty in Ramsey County District Court to committing similar crimes in Roseville and White Bear Lake.
In 2002, Rassett was sent to Shakopee women's prison on convictions of forgery and burglary.