Identity theft claims over $46,000 from Monroe women’s checking accounts

MONROE, CT — A 61-year-old Monroe woman and her mother, 84, lost over $46,000 from their checking accounts to identity theft and are working with M&T Bank to document the fraud in hopes of being reimbursed.

On Friday, the victim told police she received an email alert from her bank about an overdraft on her mother’s checking account, of which her name is also on. Working with a bank associate, she learned five checks totaling $12,159 were cashed and the money was taken from her mother’s account on March 19.

She later learned 14 fraudulent checks were cashed from her own checking account for a total of $34,201, police said, adding the victim told officers she did not sign or authorize those checks, which were all dated between April 13 and 25.

Both accounts were frozen and the bank is working with the mother and daughter to transfer their money into new accounts, according to police, who said M&T Bank is investigating the fraud.

The victim told police she does not know how her personal information was compromised. Though there is no proof of this as the cause, police said the woman told officers she puts checks in her mailbox to be picked up at the end of the month.

Police recommend mailing out bill payments in a blue U.S. Postal Service mailbox, rather than in your own mailbox, which is more susceptible to thieves.

Crash into pole leads to DUI

A 30-year-old Monroe man was charged with DUI after crashing a blue Lexus ES 350 into a utility pole in the 400-block of Route 111 (Monroe Turnpike), in front of Union Savings Bank, just after midnight Saturday.

Police said the driver was standing in front of the car in the bank parking lot when officers arrived at the scene and told them he was not injured. Monroe Volunteer Emergency Medical Service personnel evaluated him, but he declined further treatment, the report said.

He said he was driving north on Route 111 and saw a bag in the middle of the road, causing him to crash into the utility pole, according to the report. The Lexus sustained heavy front-end and passenger-side damage, police said.

While talking to the man, officers smelled the odor of an alcoholic beverage on him, his speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot and glassy, police said, adding the driver told them he was coming from Prime 111 in Trumbull and may have had three drinks there.

Asked to perform field sobriety tests, he reportedly told officers, “after an accident like that, really?” The tests were not performed to standard leading to his arrest, police said.

At police headquarters, his breath tests showed blood alcohol levels of 0.194 and 0.182, police said. The legal limit is 0.08.

He was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and failure to maintain the proper lane and released after posting 10 percent of $500 bond for a May 8 court date.

Eversource was notified of the damage to its utility pole. The crash occurred around 12:37 a.m.

Fraudulent Apple iPad Pro purchase

A 43-year-old Monroe woman told police Wells Fargo sent her a text to confirm she used her Visa card to buy a $1,275 iPad Pro through an online order on Apple.com, but she says she never placed the order.

She informed a customer service representative about the incident and received a fraud confirmation receipt through her husband’s email, police said, adding the item has not been shipped at this time, so the order could be canceled.

The victim told police she does not know how her Visa card was compromised. She was advised to check with other financial institutions she deals with to ensure there are no other instances of fraud, and to contact the three major credit bureaus about the incident.

The case was referred to the Monroe Police Detective Division for a follow up investigation.

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