Police: A gel point pen can foil check washers

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MONROE, CT — A 61-year-old Camelot Drive woman reported the theft of two checks she sent out in her mailbox, according to a complaint lodged Friday. The amounts of the checks were altered and cashed by thieves for a financial loss of over $17,000, according to police.

Police detectives recommend using a gel point pen to write out checks, because the ink smudges and smears when check washers use moisture or erasers to change the amounts and payees.

The Camelot Drive woman told police she mailed out a $1,571 check to a mortgage company and a $1,171 check to Trumbull Public Schools on either Nov. 1 or 2.

At some point, the checks were stolen and the mortgage payment was changed to $7,849 and the school district check to $9,171. The recipient was changed to names unknown to the victim and the checks were cashed.

The case is being investigated by the Monroe Police Detective Division and Newtown Savings Bank’s fraud unit.

Catalytic converter theft

Prism House Painting reported the theft of a catalytic converter from a white 2011 Ford Econoline van parked on the south side of the business at 560 Main St.

The complaint was filed on Friday, but the owner told officers he discovered the theft a week before reporting it. The van is rarely used and was last driven approximately a month before he discovered the theft, police said.

The replacement cost for the catalytic converter and damage is estimated to be anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000. The theft was not captured by video surveillance and there are no suspects at this time, police said.

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