BELLMEAD (August 22, 2013)--Police asked for the public's help Thursday in tracking down a suspect in a recent rash of thefts of checks from local apartment complexes.
The thief uses a device that reaches into rent deposit boxes in order to remove the checks, police said, and then opens accounts at local banks in the name of an apartment complex, or one close to the same name, in which the stolen checks are deposited.
After an account is credited with the funds, the thieves use their ATM cards to withdraw funds.
Bellmead police Detective Michael Miller said the latest incident happened Aug. 8 at an apartment complex in Waco during which several tenant's rent checks were stolen.
Miller said similar schemes have been identified in several cities along Interstate 35 between the Dallas-Fort Worth area and Waco.
Miller said the investigation is continuing and right now there is no way to tell the total amount of money that has been redirected into the fictitious accounts and ultimately stolen by the thieves.
He said the average amount of checks stolen has been about $1,100.
Several local banks are assisting both Waco and Bellmead police in the investigation.