Monday, June 24, 2024

Business owner spots man trying to cash fraudulent check in his company’s name

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READING, Ohio (WXIX) – A business owner was in the right place at the right time when he says he spotted a man trying to cash a fraudulent check with his company’s name on it.

Air Plus Heating & Cooling owner Robert Raby Jr. says it was at Valley Center Bank in Reading on June 6 that a man standing next to him in line tried cashing a $2,500 check.

Raby Jr. said he had recently mailed a check to a Madeira business, but the check was stolen from the mailbox.

“We were notified from the bank to close the account, open up a new account due to checks could possibly be counterfeited,” Raby Jr. explained. “So, we do all that with the Valley Bank here in town.”

On June 6 at Valley Center Bank, the Air Plus Heating & Cooling owner was in line when the man next to him started a conversation.

“The gentleman was asking me questions about my hand, making small talk,” Raby Jr. recalls.

Raby Jr. says while he was talking to the teller, the bank manager started waving him over.

“The branch manager got ahold of my attention and said, ‘Hey, Rob, we have a check here from Air Plus for $2,500 and this gentleman says he works for you,’” Raby Jr. explained.

The business owner says he knew the man was lying.

“I proceeded to go over and talk to the gentleman and he told me he was a tech for five years and he worked for Air Plus, and at that point, I said, ‘Hey, I’m the owner and I’ve never seen you before and you’re not an employee of mine,’” Raby Jr. says he told the man.

After that, Raby Jr. says the man who tried to cash the fraudulent check changed the subject.

“The more I questioned him, the more nervous he got, and at that point, he just started running towards the door walking fast, and then I followed him out and started taking pictures of him and he ran down Benson Street,” Raby Jr. explained.

While he was able to get some photos of the man, Raby Jr. said he got away before police could arrive.

The Air Plus Heating & Cooling owner said he did not think this was the first time the man had tried cashing a fraudulent check.

“$2,500 is a lot of money to a small business, so I was very fortunate it didn’t go through, but I was very fortunate,” admits Raby Jr. “That small town everybody knows everybody, and they notified me as soon as they tried to cash it.”

Raby Jr. said he has never had issues with checks being stolen before, but the recent incident is making him consider doing more online banking.

Call the Reading Police Department at 513-733-4122 if you recognize the man in the photos.

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