After a check from a local law office was cashed at Big EZ, a Covington Police Department investigation led to the arrest of Teresa Lynn Knight.
CPD Det. Kara Hipps discovered that the same female also cashed additional checks earlier in the week at area banks during her investigation.
According to a release form CPD Det. Hipps obtained warrants for two counts of Forgery and two counts of ID Fraud.
On Feb. 6 Knight was located at the Shell Station on Hwy 36 and arrested on those warrants. When Detective Hipps, Det. Shirah , and members of the Newton County Crimes Suppression unit made contact with Knight, she was found in possession of a travel bag containing multiple checks and numerous pieces of suspected stolen mail.
“We now believe that we have another 117 different victims of mail theft alone,” CPD Captain Ken Malcom said. “In the mail, we found W2s and payments that appear to have been placed in the mailbox for a mail carrier to pick up.”
Knight also had credit cards and driver licenses in her possession that did not belong to her.
“This was excellent work by Detective Hipps, who specializes in financial crime investigations, in ending this persons fraudulent criminal activity,” Malcom said. “Financial investigations often yield multiple offenses by an offender but it is unusual to discover this high of volume of victimization (over 100 victims). Most of these business and home owners are unaware that they have even been victimized. They probably believe that their mail, specifically payments to or from another party, were simply lost in the mail.”
All evidence obtained by CPD have been turned over to the Newton County Sheriff’s Office for further investigation. CPD will be assisting NCSO and the U.S. Postal Inspector in this case.
CPD said it appears most victims in this case are form Newotn, Rockdale and Walton Counties.