Police: Separate Check Fraud and Identity Theft Cases Reported; Vehicles Damaged
The Bloomfield Township Police Department and the Bloomfield Hills Department of Public Safety provided the following information. Arrests, where they are mentioned, do not indicate conviction.
Officials from the Bloomfield Township Police Department continue to encourage residents to remain vigilant about protecting their identities and not using their street-side mailboxes following two more fraud investigations opened this week.
On Jan. 25, a resident in the 4000 block of Private Lake Drive told authorities that someone created a counterfeit check with her banking information in the amount of $9,800 and cashed it in Virginia, police reports said. Investigators are working with the bank's fraud department to identify a suspect.
'Washing' checks — where household checks meant for legitimate bill payments are generally altered for fraud — is a common tactic used by criminals to steal people's identities and money, investigators said. The department issued two warnings to residents since June after an increase in reported mailbox larcenies.
In what appears to be an unrelated case, a resident in the 1900 block of Meadow Court came to police headquarters on Jan. 25 to report that someone used his actual credit card numbers to make a a $510 purchase in Los Angeles, reports said. The man said he last used the card at the Maple Theater and still had it in his possession. The investigation is ongoing.
Vehicle Damaged at Fox Hills
Officers investigated a damaged vehicle report from a resident at the Fox Hills Apartments that may lead to an unauthorized use of auto complaint. Police responded to a call in the 400 block of North Fox Hills Drive on Jan. 26 and learned from the victim that someone used his vehicle without permission and damaged it sometime between Jan. 25 and that morning, reports said. Further investigation showed a collision occurred between that vehicle and another in the parking lot, and that the investigation is ongoing. The victim is not considered a suspect, according to reports.
Park-n-Ride Targeted for Catalytic Converter
A commuter reported that the catalytic converter was removed from her vehicle while it was at a Park-n-Ride lot near Adams Road and I-75 this week. The victim told police she parked the vehicle at about 1 p.m. Jan. 26, and noticed the item was missing when she started the car upon her return at about 5 p.m., reports said. No suspect information was available.
The department is currently investigating at least a dozen similar thefts throughout the township since spring. The converters, which are used to filter engine emissions, are commonly targeted by thieves because of the valuable metal components inside, such as platinum or palladium. Police urged residents and shoppers to be aware of anyone seen underneath a vehicle in a parking lot and to report any suspicious behavior to police immediately.
Anyone with information on any of the incidents listed here should call the department at 248-433-7752.
Officials with the Bloomfield Hills Department of Public Safety said officers investigated a larceny report at Cranbrook this week. Officers responded to the school at about 11 p.m. Jan. 27 and met a student who said someone entered his unoccupied room and took $700 from his wallet, and left $200 behind, reports said.
The incident occurred sometime between noon and 5 p.m., and the room was unlocked at the time. Nothing else was reported stolen, and no suspect information was available. The investigation is ongoing.
For questions about this blotter, email Art.Aisner@Patch.com.