Richland Check Fraud Arrests
RICHLAND, Wash. - Richland police arrest three people accused of stealing what could be hundreds of personal checks and credit cards.
Police believe the burglars have been stealing checks and cards for weeks. Doing things like rooting through mailboxes, breaking into cars, or even homes. And once they get access to your bank account, they use your money to buy whatever they want.
Richland police recovered credit cards and personal checks from all over the country.
"Here's one out of San Jose, California, another one out of Federal Way, and Tacoma, Washington. Here's one of out Chazy, New York. I'm not even sure where that's at," said Sgt. Dan Phillips, Richland Police Department.
Phillips said he's barely even started figuring out who the checks belong to, but officers do know since November, 32-year-old Jamie Beauchman, 28-year-old Thomas Rima, and 36-year-old Jeffrey Amiotte have allegedly been using people's personal information to buy $13,000 worth of goods recovered Wednesday from 204 Abbot Street in Richland.
For example officers said the group washed the ink off people's rent checks, and re-used them at Tri-City businesses. It's not the first time officers have seen crooks steal an innocent person's money, but they couldn't believe how many victims these people preyed on.
"To do that to this scale, to this number of people, I don't know how somebody does that I guess," said Phillips.
Phillips urges citizens to take extra precaution with checks you put in the mail, even if it's a little inconvenient.
"Take the time to collect those and put them in the mail drop boxes at the post office where there's a little more security from somebody getting into it during the night," Phillips said.
With all the stolen goods police recovered including checks and credit cards officers think there may be more victims than they identified. If you think you've been a victim of identify fraud in this case contact Richland Police.