Bremen police officials said they believe multiple people may be involved in an identity theft ring that steals mail out of homeowners' mailboxes, changes checks meant to be used for paying bills, and cashes them at nearby stores.
Blane Cochran, a lieutenant with the Bremen Police Department, showed CBS Atlanta News surveillance video of a man believed to have illegally cashed a Bremen man's check last week.
That victim, Jay Rodgers, said he mailed out several checks to pay bills on Oct. 23 and realized something was wrong when he checked his bank account a few days later.
"I have an app on my phone that my bank account's hooked up to and I got a low balance alert," Rogers said. "I got on my bank's website and noticed that some checks that we wrote out had been changed."
The amounts on the checks had been changed to be hundreds of dollars more than what Rogers had written.
Surveillance video from the Walmart in Bremen shows a man walking into the store and turning one of those checks into a $200 Walmart gift card.
Bremen police are searching for that man, who also cashed another of Rogers' checks at a Publix in Alabama. Surveillance video shows a gray Toyota Camry, believed to belong to the suspect.
Police believe what happened to Rogers may be happening to others, especially in small towns along Interstate 20. They encourage people to pay bills online, or drop mail containing checks to a secure post office mail drop box.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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