SLIGO – The Sligo Borough Authority is apparently the victim of identity theft.
A check for Dumbaugh Electric was in the mail, but someone decided to steal the check from Dumbaugh’s mailbox and make their own checks from the Sligo Authority.
“Last month on Aug. 6, we approved a payment to Dumbaugh Electricity for $3,900 for pump repairs we had done,” said Sligo Borough secretary Janey Corle. “On Aug. 7, I mailed out the checks and apparently on Friday or Saturday somebody got into Dumbaugh’s mailbox and stole four pieces of mail, our check included.”
However, the thieves didn’t steal the check so they could cash that check and keep the money. They stole it to get Sligo’s routing number and account number and make their own checks. Thanks to technology, they made their own Sligo checks and copied the signatures off of the check they took.
Whoever stole it worked fast. The bogus checks were cashed Aug. 12.
“It looks like an original check,” said authority chairman Chuck Marsh. “Two checks were made to Robert Allen Pittman of Pittsburgh.”
Marsh said that so far, only two checks have been written and they total almost as much as the original check for Dumbaugh.
“What happened was the guy that was doing this had the checks when he was stopped on the interstate and the Maryland police realized he had other people’s mail and they started researching and found out what was going on,” said Corle. “They called Dumbaugh to let him know and then Dumbaugh called me.”
At Monday night’s meeting, the authority closed its operating sewer fund and opened a new sewer fund checking with Northwest Savings Bank and designated signers as Chuck Marsh, Jeff Elder and Janey Corle, with two signatures required on all checks.
Corle talked with state police in both Maryland and Pennsylvania.
It is not quite sure if the Sligo Authority will lose any money, but Corle said some related expenses could include the cost of ordering new checks, the time required researching the situation, and just sorting out things.