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By Jay Pateakos
Herald Hews Staff Reporter
Posted Sep 29, 2008 @ 08:45 PM

Swansea -
A number of checks have been stolen from residents' mailboxes over the past weeks and the alleged thief tried to cash at least two of them at a local credit union.
Detective Joseph Martin said that Swansea Police received a call from St. Dominic's Credit Union on Sept. 18, saying a man trying to cash a third-party check. According to police, the clerk said the man had taken a check made out to Comcast, written his own name over it, and tried to cash the $125 check. The attempt was unsuccessful.
"St. Dominic's is a very personal credit union where they know about 99 percent of the people that go through there," said Detective Martin. "But when they have people standing in front of them that they don't know trying to cash a check like this, it puts up a red flag. It wasn't a great forgery, but if you get the right person to sell it to, it could happen."
The same man made a second attempt with another check the next day at St. Dominic's, but was again unsuccessful.
Detective Martin took the surveillance tapes from the credit union and posted the images on the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Most Wanted Web sites.
The suspect was later identified as Jonathan Perry, 25, of 26 Park Lane, Coventry, R.I., by Det. Sgt. James Tiernan of West Warwick, R.I., who had arrested Perry the week before on check forgery charges and saw his picture online.
Detective Martin said they didn't have to go far to find Perry - he was being held by the Coventry Police on check forgery charges.
After arriving in Coventry, Detective Martin said Perry confessed to stealing the two checks in Swansea and attempting to cash them.
"He was doing the same thing in Rhode Island that he was doing here. He'd drive around town, see these mailboxes with the red flags up, take the letters out with checks in them and try to cash them. Mail carriers also reported finding ripped up mail in the area," said Martin. "This guy has a big heroin problem and he was trying to feed it."
Perry will be charged in Swansea with two counts of larceny under $250, two counts of larceny by check under $250, two counts of forgery, two counts of uttering a false check and identity fraud.
Martin said that there have been several complaints from residents in the last few weeks claiming to have had their mail stolen.
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