Archive for Thursday, July 30, 2009

Police seek suspects in burglary, stolen checks incident

A Lawrence business owner and police are looking for help finding four men suspected of cashing false checks.

July 30, 2009


Two suspects in a stolen checks case are seen cashing the forged documents in a photo taken from a surveillance camera at First State Bank and Trust in Lawrence.

Two suspects in a stolen checks case are seen cashing the forged documents in a photo taken from a surveillance camera at First State Bank and Trust in Lawrence.

Lawrence police released surveillance photos Wednesday in their search for information about the suspects who broke into a Lawrence business and cashed $8,000 in stolen checks.

“If we find these individuals, we could solve several forgeries and a burglary,” said Sgt. Bill Cory, police spokesman.

Police said the checks were stolen during a July 6 break-in at Alpha Roofing, 2736 Ore. The pictures show four men cashing the forged checks between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. July 10 at two First State Bank and Trust locations, 609 Vt. and 3901 W. Sixth St., Cory said.

Darin Lutz, owner of Alpha Roofing, said burglars entered his business by prying off panels from a garage door. The crooks passed over expensive tools and instead stole checks from a desk drawer at the business.

“It’s been frustrating,” Lutz said. “It’s a terrible feeling, and we’ve had to spend a lot of manpower getting things squared away.”

Lutz said he’s installed a new security system, changed his bank accounts and contacted current and former employees to let them know the suspects may have accessed their private information, which was in the area of the stolen checkbook.

Anyone with information about the suspects should call Crimestoppers at 843-TIPS. Cory said it’s possible other burglaries could eventually be connected to them.

“These kind of people need to be taken care of,” Lutz said. “They need to understand that they can’t get away with stuff like that.”


maxcrabb 8 years, 10 months ago

I feel bad for the owner. But the criminals weren't they only ones to benefit from this crime.

Rueschoff just got their own "news" advertisement. I especially love the zoom in at 1:20 of the video.

ohgeeze 8 years, 10 months ago

There were 40,000 dollars in checks stolen from business in Salina a few weeks ago...I thought the newspaper had security footage of the guys who cashed them, but I couln't find it. I wonder if they're related at all....

headdoctor 8 years, 10 months ago

I would say that the First State Bank and Trust needs to seriously consider revisiting their check cashing policy. While it doesn't spell out how the checks were forged(signed or endorsed). There are more than a few banks that wouldn't have been caught in this mess. If the checks were written on a business account for cash, the bank should have known better. If the checks were written to an individual, the bank should have known better than to cash that many dollars worth of checks for someone that doesn't have an account.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 10 months ago

My guess is that this roofing company doesn't keep very good "documentation" on it's workers. These guys knew the inside of the business, and (I'm going to get called a racists... here it comes...) these guys look like they've maybe worked on a roofing crew before.

If the company's employee records weren't so "iffy", they'd probably have all the info they need to find these guys.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 10 months ago

I am rather impressed that they are so well organized. The bank being so willing to cash these checks really surprises me. I had to show a picture ID to get money out of my account even though they know quite well who I am and greeted me by name when I walked up. You are now required to show a picture ID every time you see the doctor or go to the hospital.

MarchSadness 8 years, 10 months ago

Lawrence police always seem to be seeking suspects, but for some reason the LJW hardly ever has follow-ups to the police actually catching these suspects. Maybe because our below-par law enforcement here in larryville is worthless and they can't ever catch people the have video of.

Jean1183 8 years, 10 months ago

One of the reasons for picture ID at the doctor's/hospital is to prevent insurance fraud.

Anyone could take someone else's insurance card and get treatment without having to pay other than the insurance co-pays.

been_there 8 years, 10 months ago

Surely the bank had cameras. A lot of banks use fingerprint ID but evidently not this one.

been_there 8 years, 10 months ago

Of course if there is nothing to compare the fingerprint to, it is useless.

Kunatiha 8 years, 10 months ago

First off I would like to focus on the criminals and not the bank. The CRIMINALs stole the checks! I have been to many different banks and they all have different policies but one thing that they have in common is reccomending to go to the bank that a check was issued from if you want your money right away. I have worked at a bank before and it isn't unusal to have several people bring in checks that are fairly large to cash off the same's called PAYDAY! These criminals obvioulsy knew what they wanted and knew where to get it. I'm sure that the bank took down their personal info and there is video and I have faith in LAWRENCE's police dept.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 10 months ago

I was thinking that fraud is fraud and it is just as important to prevent bad checks/forged checks as insurance fraud. The photo says 3:17 and the article says between 3:30 and 3:30. It doesn't say that they ever worked for Lutz, but they must have known someone who did in order to know where to go to get what they needed. They did make $8,000 in one hour which is not bad I wonder how many are involved in this? Total I mean, not just the four that cashed the checks. What are the odds they will try this again and go back to the same bank?

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