Did They Swindle Their Neighbors to See the World?
Apparently they were stealing it—along with the identities of at least six people, including two neighbors. On Nov. 30 Philadelphia police busted Anderton, 25, and Kirsch, 22, for a brazen ID-theft scam that netted them an estimated $100,000 and financed a jet-setting lifestyle. Kirsch, brash and beautiful, and the preppishly handsome Anderton whisked away to Hawaii and Paris and lived in a ritzy condo on Philadelphia's Chestnut Street. Photos of the sun-bronzed duo and interviews with friends and associates show why the press dubbed them Bonnie and Clyde—they sure looked like they were having a blast. "Every picture you see she's wearing a new bikini, and this girl ain't a Kmart Blue Light Special shopper," says Det. Terry Sweeney, who arrested the couple. "They got their jollies off indulging in a life of crime."
Kirsch and Anderton aren't commenting, but even Kirsch's lawyer Ronald Greenblatt says, "They know how much trouble they're in. There was a certain arrogance and greed." Many who know Anderton, a University of Pennsylvania graduate, say they're shocked by his arrest. Raised in Everett, Wash., by middle-class parents, he "was in all the honors classes in high school," says longtime friend Danielle Kathleen Newton. "This is 100 percent out of character."
Kirsch, on the other hand, seemed to be something of a shape-shifter. She hails from North Carolina but told some people she was South African, claimed to be a U.N. ambassador and, says her ex-boyfriend Lee Hammarback, 24, once "wrapped bandages around her arms and pretended she was recovering from cancer. She was always changing, cycling through different cliques. It's almost like she had multiple personalities."
Kirsch and Anderton began dating in 2006, while he was working as a financial analyst for an equity firm. Exactly how or why their alleged crime spree started isn't clear, but police say the couple somehow stole keys to some of the condos in their building, the Belgravia, and used them to swipe personal information from mail and computers. After one Belgravia neighbor complained to police on Nov. 30 about strange charges on her credit card bill—including for the rental of a UPS mailbox—Det. Sweeney staked out a UPS center and nabbed the couple picking up packages that reportedly included lingerie from England. Says Greenblatt: "Taking credit information from someone who lives across the hall—how anyone thinks they can get away with that kind of stupidity is beyond me."
Police also found cash, receipts and an industrial-quality ID-making machine in their condo. Both Kirsch and Anderton were freed on bail and released in the custody of their parents; a hearing is set for Feb. 12. "It surprises me that someone so smart could be so dumb," says one of Anderton's childhood friends. "I hope all those vacations were worth it."