Lincoln looks for alleged check thief

August 20, 2003|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - The Lincoln County Sheriff's Department is asking the community to help catch an alleged check thief.

Wilbur Riddle Jr., 23, reportedly of 12531 Ky. 1247, Waynesburg, is wanted in connection with a recent wave of check thefts and fraud in Lincoln County. Riddle has 12 warrants out for his arrest, ranging from criminal possession of a forged instrument to theft of mail matter, Sheriff Shelby Lakes said.

Police say Riddle is taking checks from mailboxes along rural routes and trying to cash them at area businesses. In some instances, white-out was used to obscure the original intended recipient of the check, and endorsements were forged.

Police could not estimate the number of checks Riddle is accused of taking, but according to court reports, it is not the first time he has been accused of raiding mailboxes.


Riddle was indicted by a grand jury in June on charges of theft of mail matter and second-degree possession of a forged instrument, for reportedly stealing a check.

Check theft is not unusual in Lincoln County, said Lakes.

"The last couple of months we've had a rash of them," said Lakes.

To protect themselves against fraudulent checks, Lakes recommends that businesses check a photo identification and pay close attention to checks they receive. Vendors should look for any alterations on the check, such as owner phone numbers scribbled over or crossed out, as well as any correction to names of the recipient or amount.

"It's probably not a good idea to put checks in rural boxes," said Lakes.

Anyone with information should contact the sheriff's department at (606) 365-2696.

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