An investigation by the Covington Police Department led to the arrest of Teresa Lynn Knight in a case that affected more than 100 people and three counties.
CPD took on the forgery case from the Big EZ regarding a stolen check from a local law office that was cashed at their location earlier this week.
Det. Kara Hipps was assigned the case, and her investigation led her to Knight, of Covington.
During Hipps investigation she discovered that the same female cashed additional checks earlier that week at area banks. Once the suspect was identified, Detective Hipps obtained warrants for two counts of forgery and two counts of ID Fraud.
On Feb. 6, Knight was located and arrested at the Shell Station on Hwy 36. When Detective Hipps , Detective 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 Capt. 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 person’s 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 were unaware that they had been victimized.
All of the new evidence discovered during the arrest has been turned over to the Newton County Sheriff’s Office for further investigation. CPD is assisting the Newton County Sheriff’s Office criminal investigation division and the U.S. Postal Inspector on the case.
According to CPD, most of the victims appear to be from Newton, Rockdale and Walton counties.