Police: Suspects stole IDs, drained bank accounts, read The Forecaster
LEWISTON — A man and a woman making their way down the Eastern Seaboard are draining bank accounts by stealing identities and bank information from motor vehicles, police said.
Authorities in New Jersey traced the suspects to Maine after seeing the front page of The Forecaster weekly newspaper the male driver was reading while waiting at a bank drive-through. The Forecaster is owned by the Sun Media Group, which also publishes the daily Sun Journal in Lewiston.
The duo started in Lewiston at the end of August and recently made their way to New Jersey.
On Aug. 28, Lewiston police responded to two motor vehicle burglaries where windows were broken and purses stolen, Detective Lee Jones said Friday.
The male suspect used the two victims' identifications and bank account information two days later at mid-morning to withdraw $3,000 in cash at the drive-through teller window at a bank, which wasn't identified by police. A female passenger claimed to be the account owner, Jones said.
On Aug. 30, Lisbon police responded to a parking lot at a local walking trail for a motor vehicle burglary. The window of the vehicle had been broken and the female victim's Bank of America checkbook was missing.
She reported the theft, but police later discovered the thief had used information from her checking account and driver's license the same day to withdraw $2,000 from her account at an Exeter, N.H., Bank of America branch, Jones said.
Photos from bank surveillance cameras from both withdrawals show the suspects in the same car, described as a white, four-door Nissan Altima sedan with Pennsylvania registration. No registration number was observed.
The man is described as white with a receding hairline, dark hair pulled back in a ponytail, a goatee and a tattoo on his left wrist. Two women were seen in the male suspect's car, but no identification was available for them, police said.
The public is urged to call Jones at 207-513-3001 and/or Lisbon police officer William Tapley at 207-353-2500, extension 240, with any information.