Pair accused of check thefts

March 7, 2008 5:41:07 PM PST
The checks were in the mail, but according to police they were stolen. Investigators a man and woman stole hundreds of checks and money orders from a post office in southwest Houston. Police say those stolen checks and money orders were for utility bills, taxes, mortgage payments and even child support. Authorities say this has been going on for a couple of months. They've arrested Jaime Garcia, 22, and Consuela Aragon, 20, believing they stole hundreds of checks and money orders. Police say the two were trying to negotiate a stolen check at a check cashing business on the southwest side when officers arrested them.

Police got a warrant and a search of the suspects' apartment led investigators to a post office on DeMoss. Police say they found in the suspects' apartments and in a nearby dumpster hundreds of checks and money orders meant to pay utilities, taxes, credit cards, mortgages and even child support, with postal packaging leading them to the DeMoss stations. Police say they were prying open the blue postal drop-off boxes.

"Obviously, these individuals were causing a great deal of pain and headaches to many Houstonians and we're happy that they're in jail," said Lt. Robert Manzo with HPD's financial crimes unit.

Police believe these two were not very experienced, but say this has been going on for a couple of months. So if you use the DeMoss post office or two others -- the Rich Hill post office or the Alief post office -- check your bank accounts and if you notice anything out of the ordinary that's been mailed out from any of those locations, file a report with police.

Were your checks or money orders stolen? Contact the Houston Police Department's financial crimes unit at 713-308-2500. And if the company that expected a payment is now charging you a late fee and won't waive it, contact us. We might be able to help.

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