Woman accused of cashing $20K in fraudulent checks


Police are searching for a woman accused of cashing $20,000 in fraudulent checks at several banks in Berks County over two days.

"Whenever someone tries to commit a crime in a banking institution, there's going to be a lot of video evidence," said Berks County District Attorney John Adams.

On September 5 and 6, police said the woman managed to get cash from Tompkins VIST Bank branches in Hamburg, Leesport, Sinking Spring, Wyomissing, Birdsboro and Bern and Exeter townships. Each stop happened roughly 30 minutes apart.

"Oftentimes, as soon as that theft happens, minutes later we are experiencing the fraud cases," said Sgt. Sean Fullerton, Exeter Township Police Department.

Authorities said the woman stole someone's ID and used it to cash the checks, somehow taking money from multiple accounts.

"I would expect someone who is participating in this type of scheme is operating throughout potentially the tri-state area," said Adams.

Authorities said these types of crimes typically happen when a thief gets a hold of someone's purse or wallet.

"If you want to prevent something like this, putting something like your purse in your trunk isn't really a great option," Fullerton said.

Authorities are encouraging everyone to double check their bank statements and to make sure they're not missing any checks.

Officials said a second person was reportedly seen lying down in the back of the car during each incident, but at this point, they don't have any surveillance images showing that person.

VIST Bank representatives said they cannot comment since the case is part of an ongoing police investigation.