MARMET, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Police say they’ve been seeing a spike in check forgeries hitting banks and businesses in the past couple of months.
Officers tell WSAZ.com someone got away with $25,000 after bringing a fake check to the bank. They say some criminals print out their own fake checks while others simply steal them from a family member’s wallet.
“It’s been unreal here in the past few months,” inspector Paris Workman said. “I relate it all back to drugs…when [abusers] get their hands on a checkbook, they can do some serious damage.”
Now, police have formed a task force to crack down on the problem and catch the criminals in action.
“I think drugs and crime go hand-in-hand,” neighbor Larry Atha said. “I’m concerned that as the younger generation becomes more involved in drugs, they’ll become more dependent on stealing to support their habit.”
Atha has lived in Marmet for 65 years and says he wants to see things change for the sake of his grandkids.
“I’ve seen it progress in Marmet from no drugs to the point where it is now,” he said.
Now, police are urging you to keep a close watch of the checks that come in and out of your wallet.
“Keep an eye on your checkbook and keep it locked up,” Workman said. “If you see a check that doesn’t look right, it’s probably not.”
Police say they have some leads on suspects and expect to make arrests soon.
They say bank surveillance video and identification checks are instrumental in catching thieves.