Waynesboro Police Ask for Help Identifying Check Forging Suspect
Investigators across the state are trying to track down the people who they say are responsible for a very sophisticated check fraud ring.
They believe it started in Waynesboro with some smash and grabs on vehicles. Now, police have a picture of a female suspect captured at banks in Charlottesville and Waynesboro.
Police believe earlier this month, a group targeted female drivers in Waynesboro and Chesterfield County leaving their cars without their purses, then breaking into the vehicles and taking off with bags and checkbooks left inside.
Investigators say the suspect caught on camera has been passing forged checks for thousands of dollars with each bank stop, and using a stolen license plate. Police believe she's been wearing black and blond wigs to disguise herself, but she does appear to have a distinctive dimple.
Because the sham has exploited multiple victims and banks, officers hope to find the suspect immediately.
"Every check we have seen is over $1,500, so if she can get through one bank passing one of these bogus checks, she's scoring pretty big,” said Sgt. Brian Edwards of the Waynesboro Police Department.
Police urge you to protect yourself by taking valuables out of the car whenever leaving it unattended. If you plan to make a purchase with a check, police also recommend leaving the checkbook at home and taking out just one or two individual checks at a time.
Aside from Charlottesville and Waynesboro, the suspects have cashed in big time - cashing at least $10,000 statewide.
City of Waynesboro Police Department Press Release
The Waynesboro Police Department is part of a multi-jurisdictional investigation into a sophisticated check forging operation involving numerous victims who had checkbooks stolen from their vehicles during smash and grab attacks. In early March, assailants broke into vehicles in Chesterfield County and in Waynesboro and made off with purses that included checkbooks.
The Waynesboro thefts took place at Constitution Park and the Y.M.C.A. Police believe that the female victims who were targeted were observed by the offenders leaving their vehicles without their purses.
Checks that were stolen were then forged and cashed by a female suspect in several locations throughout the state that include Waynesboro, Charlottesville, Chester, Fredericksburg, Prince William County, Stafford County and Chesterfield County. Images of her passing the forged checks have been captured by surveillance cameras at some of the banks where the checks were passed including the DuPont Community Credit Union on Lucy Lane. The suspect is a white female, approximately 25-35 years old, with strawberry blonde hair and a noticeable dimple in her chin. In some of the surveillance images, the suspect is wearing a black wig. The suspect drives 2010 – 2013 dark colored Buick Lacrosse with stolen Virginia tags #1552PS.
Police believe the suspect has been able to collect approximately $10,000 from passing the forged checks statewide.
The thefts serve as a reminder to citizens to remove valuables from vehicles when they are left unattended. While the locking of vehicle doors would not likely have prevented these thefts, the Police Department still recommends citizens do so whenever a vehicle is not in use.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Chris Cross of the Waynesboro Police Department at (540) 942-6786 or Central Shenandoah Crime Stoppers at 1(800)322-2017.
Information given to Crime Stoppers may be given anonymously. Callers with information that lead to an arrest in this case are eligible for a cash reward of up to $1000.
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