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Decatur woman steals from her great grandmother using stolen checks, police say

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DECATUR — Police accuse a 21-year-old Decatur woman of draining her great grandmother’s bank account of nearly $8,000 by repeatedly using stolen checks.

A sworn affidavit from Decatur police said the woman’s technique was to buy goods from Walmart and then come back to the store, sometimes in as little as four minutes, and return the just-purchased items for a cash refund.

Detective Adam Siefman, who signed the affidavit, said a rough running total of the amount taken from the account of the 79-year-old great grandmother added up to $7,862.13.

Police confronted the woman and reported she told them different stories: At one stage claiming she had been given the checks by her relative so she could fix up her house and “get her children back from foster care.”

Siefman said she then appeared to admit stealing the checks but backtracked and claimed she never said that. Her next line of defense, according to police, was claiming her great grandmother had dementia and didn't know what she was doing with her finances.

A check of the woman’s criminal record shows she pleaded guilty in November of 2020 to aggravated identity theft from her great grandmother. She was sentenced to 24 months probation, required to pay $2,324 in restitution and ordered to stay away from the victim.

Siefman said police spoke to the great grandmother and her husband and they confirmed the woman had stolen from them before and they had tried to protect themselves from her.

“(The victim and her husband) both verified that she did not have dementia, or any other cognitive deficiencies …,” Siefman added.

The detective also reviewed video surveillance from Walmart which showed the woman at the store repeatedly using the checks in April and May.

She was arrested July 20 and booked on preliminary charges of seven counts of aggravated identity theft. She remained in the Macon County Jail Monday in lieu of bail set at $30,000, meaning she must post a bond of $3,000 to be free.

All preliminary charges are subject to review by the state attorney’s office.

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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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