Man & woman sought in suspected stolen check ring

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - Harris County Financial Crimes investigators are asking for the public's help in identifying a man and woman accused of stealing money to pay their bills and buy hundreds of dollars' worth of groceries and other items.

The couple was caught on surveillance video at a local grocery store with carts full of shopping bags. The man in the surveillance video is close to 7 feet tall. The slim-faced, small-framed woman is said to be his accomplice. The pair was able to gain access to their victim's finances by using the account number on personal checks that were stolen from the victim's mailboxes.

Investigators tell Local 2 it appears they are not working alone.

"They got a driver, good lookout person, somebody is printing checks. Yeah, this could be a bigger ring," said Sgt. L. Peterson, with the Harris County Sheriff's Office Financial Crimes Division.

Investigators say the pair wrote checks at businesses in Atascocita, Humble, Crosby and Cleveland. Financial crimes investigators say the female suspect stole another woman's retail credit card number that hadn't been used in years and used counterfeit checks from two other victims to pay off the high balance so she could keep charging on it.

"The account holder, once I tracked her down, she was actually in the hospital having surgery in Kingwood, so she had no clue." said. Sgt. Peterson.

The fact that they knew where to go, what to buy and how to avoid getting caught tells seasoned investigators the pair has some knowledge of how the scheme works and their behavior in the surveillance video is a good indicator they might do it again.

If you recognize the man and woman in the surveillance video, contact the Harris County Sheriff's Financial Crimes Division at 713-967-5773.

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