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Iowa antique store targeted by person of interest in Sydney Loofe case

Posted at 4:42 PM, Dec 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-12 11:42:14-05

Lincoln Police say persons of interest in the Sydney Loofe case - Aubrey Trail and Bailey Boswell - may also be linked to a series of crimes across the country. 

They're believed to have passed bad checks and swindled antique dealers and auction houses from the central plains to the east coast. 

Under the alias of "Allan," Aubrey Trail claimed to own a business called A&B Antiques.

As recently as June, police in Utah sent out a bulletin regarding Trail and Boswell and a theft at a coin shop. 

They've also been linked to similar crimes in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Iowa. Now - Lincoln police are asking anyone with information about these crimes to come forward. 

Aubrey Trail has an extensive wrap sheet of forgery related crimes - leaving behind a trail of victims across the country - one of which is in Percival, Iowa at Finders Keepers Antique Mall.

"He was pleasant to me. He seemed friendly," said Alicia Chrastil, owner of Finders Keepers Antique Mall. 

On a warm Sunday in July, a man claiming to be in the antique business wrote a check for an set of sterling silver flatware at Finders Keepers Antique mall. Seven years would pass before the man who bounced that check - Aubrey Trail - would become a person of interest in the murder of Sydney Loofe. 

"He's your conman. He is a conman extraordinaire. If there one thing Aubrey Trail knows, is that's how to lie, said Chrastil. 

Alicia Chrastil, owner of the antique mall, spoke with Trail that July day in 2010. She says he visited the shop several times, building up a friendly repertoire, before writing a fraudulent check for nearly $2,700 that couldn't be cashed. 

"I remember when I got that check I just felt - right after he left - I knew. I kind of had a feeling in the pit of my stomach like something doesn't add up with this guy," said Chrastil. "That's why I called the bank on Monday morning because I normally wouldn't have done that for a check."

Chrastil pressed charges but law enforcement didn't catch up with Aubrey Trail until a year later in Arkansas where he was running a similar scam.

Iowa court records show he took a plea deal related to the Percival case in November 2010 and was sentenced to five years for second degree theft. 

"His last name Trail is very fitting because he leaves a trail of victims wherever he goes," said Chrastil. 

Chrastil says she's frustrated that she was never notified when Trail was released from prison, adding that his alleged pattern of crime around the country, is no surprise.

"I don't know why he's able to continue to do this. I don't know why they just don't lock him up for good," said Chrastil. 

Aubrey Trail was ordered to pay restitution for the bounced check. She says he's only paid a few hundred dollars of the thousands he owes. She received the most recent check from Trail in February 2017.   

Note (Dec. 12, 2017): A previous version of this story said that Loofe had been murdered, however no charges connected to her death have been filed against anyone.