Aiken Department of Public Safety charged Marcus Bass, Michael Wilcox and Thomas Kelly with false information last week, and other charges could be pending once the investigation is complete, said Lt. David Turno.
Police believe the men took checks from residential mailboxes, washed the ink from them and re-wrote them at local Wal-Marts, Lt. Turno said. The men bought Wal-Mart gift cards with checks, and used those cards to purchase American Express, Visa and MasterCard gift cards, he said. The men stole between $3,000 and $5,000 worth of checks and items.
Some people may not know that the checks were washed until they get their statement, he said. It may be a month before we hear from those people when they realize their phone bill or other bills werent paid.
A Wal-Mart employee noticed one of the altered checks the suspects attempted to use, and contacted police last week, Lt. Turno said.
When the men were apprehended, some of the items and fake identification cards were found.
Mr. Bass and Mr. Wilcox have been released from the Aiken County Detention Center, but Mr. Kelly remains at the jail.