GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A man has been arrested for trying to cash a fraudulent check as deputies continue to investigate mail thefts, authorities say.
The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office in August said it was investigating multiple thefts from business mailboxes throughout Ottawa County. Suspects were stealing checks, altering things like who it was written out to and the amount it was for, and then cashing them, the sheriff’s office said.
The checks were cashed in Michigan and out of state. They totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars from multiple victims, the sheriff’s office said.
Deputies are continuing their investigation. There were about 10 different mail thefts between Oct. 27 through Oct. 31, the sheriff’s office said in a Wednesday release. Most of the thefts were in Zeeland Township or Georgetown Township.
On Tuesday, a Jenison bank reported someone was trying to cash a ‘suspicious’ check, authorities say. By the time deputies got there, the person had left.
Deputies say on Wednesday, a Georgetown Township bank called dispatch about someone trying to cash a check that was fraudulent. The suspect, a 29-year-old from Grand Rapids, was arrested without incident.
Investigators say he was the same person who tried to cash the check at the Jenison bank.
“At this time, his possible involvement into a larger criminal operation remains under investigation, as does the origin of the fraudulent check he was attempting to cash,” the sheriff’s office said.
Officials are encouraging people to not allow mail to stay in mailboxes for a long time, to watch for strange cars trying to get to business mailboxes and to not mail large checks.
The sheriff’s office release a photo of a car believed to be involved in a mail theft that happened on around 2:40 a.m. on Oct. 31 at a businesses in the 3400 block of 76th Avenue near Chicago Drive in Zeeland Township.
Anyone with information should contact the sheriff’s office at 616.738.4000 or Silent Observer at 1.877.88.SILENT or mosotips.com.
Other local police agencies, the FBI, the IRS and the United States Postal Inspector Service has been working with the sheriff’s office throughout its investigation.