Officials with the Conway Police Department are working to identify several suspects that they believe are involved in the thefts of checks from two local businesses.
According to La Tresha Woodruff, public information officer for the department, the thieves have targeted Haynes Machine Shop as well as Conway Printing and have written and cashed stolen checks from each business for thousands of dollars.
The owners of Haynes Machine Shop had about $8,500 taken from their bank account while Conway Printing had more than $9,500 taken from its account. Woodruff said that area banks have been cooperating with investigators as they try to identify the suspects.
"The suspects took the checks to several area banks to cash, so investigators have been working with the banks to obtain surveillance footage of the transactions in an effort to have the public identify the suspects," she said.
"We are all working together to try to apprehend the suspects before they target any other businesses in the community."
Dori Hayney, who is employed at Haynes Machine Shop said the stolen funds will mean a hardship for the family owned business.
"It is a relatively small company owned and operated by Henry Haynes," she explained. "To lose such a large amount of money will affect the business in a big way. It is disheartening for all of us, but especially for Henry who is so dedicated to his business. He had bypass surgery and showed up to work in the pajamas the hospital gave him when the surgery was over. This theft is personal to him as it is to all of his employees."
Both businesses that were targeted are located beside each other in the Industrial Park, and neither business showed signs of forced entry.
According to an incident report from the CPD, it was only after the thieves had cashed some of the checks from the Conway Printing shop that a bank in Mayflower declined to honor a check written on that account.
"An attempt to cash a check at a Mayflower bank was denied and this is how the forgery was discovered."
Woodruff said that with two area businesses coming forward, the department is encouraging other businesses to check their bank accounts as well as their check book to be sure everything is the way it should be.
"It is a good idea for business owners to check with their bank or online banking statement to be sure that no checks have been cashed without their knowledge," she said. "We are also encouraging business owners to examine their check book to be sure blank checks have not been stolen. It is also a good idea to keep the company checkbook in a secure location."
Anyone with information into the thefts or the identity of any of the suspects is asked to contact investigators at 450-6120 or text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES), using keyword Conway.
(Candie Beck is a staff writer and can be reached at 505-1238 or at firstname.lastname@example.org)