- Reward offered for arrest of sex offender who escaped Houston facility
- Parents React To Baby Carjacking In Austin
- Investigators find huge psychedelic mushroom grow operation in a house
- Man Steals Car With Baby Inside
- Food Trucks Band Together To Catch Thief
- Dashcam Video Released Of Man Shooting At New Braunfels Police Officers
- Woman Found Dead From Gunshot Wound At Pflugerville Home Identified
- APD Searching For Cigarette Burglary Suspect
- Adding Officers, Building Relationships Could Help Austin Property Crime Problem
- Police On The Hunt For Truck Wheel Thieves
- APD Looking For Owner Of Stolen East Austin Bicycle
- Austin Dad Accused Of Driving Son To School While Drunk
- Nicaraguan Man Set To Be Executed In Texas Gets Reprieve
- Police Identify Robbery Suspects Targeting Women In Downtown Austin
- New Braunfels Man Arrested On Child Porn Charges
- APD Investigates Rash Of Cat Mutilation Cases In South Austin
- Graffiti Vandals Targeting Lakeway Business
- 70lbs Of Marijuana Seized After Fayette Co. Traffic Stop
- Tickets Adding Up At Austin's Don't Block The Box Intersections
- UT student assaulted outside residence hall early Sunday morning
- Capitol Arson Suspect Brought Back To Texas
- 9 Months Pregnant Mother Helps Police Catch Burglar
- An Old Driver's License Can Be Dangerous To Leave Around
- Ex-Con Missing After Harassing Women, Violating Parole
- ICE Arrests 61 Undocumented Immigrants With Criminal Convictions
- Austin Woman Confronts, Tackles Unknown Man In Her Home
- Arson Suspected In East Austin Boarding House Fire
- Wells Fargo Bank Robbed In SW Austin
- Texas Man Again Convicted In 1976 Bus Attendant Slaying
- College Women, Including In Austin, Targeted In Prostitution Ring
- Robbery Suspect Shot By TCSO Deputy Identified
- Woman Hits Teen With Car, Drives Away Thinking It Was Prank
- TCSO: Screaming Woman Busted With PCP At Apartment Complex Pool
- VonTrey Clark Could Be Back In Texas Soon
- Robbery Suspect Shot By Deputy In North Travis Co.
- Meagan Work's Defense Team Focus On Her Medical Condition
- Competitive knife thrower arrested for bringing knife into Austin courthouse
- APD: Pest Control Worker Tried To Expose Himself To Teen Girl During Service Call
- Former WilCo Judge Sentenced To 18 Months In Prison
- Former AISD Teacher Accepts 25 Year Plea Deal For Sexual Assault
- Victim Speaks On Downtown Robberies
- Search Warrant Issued For VonTrey Clark's Locker
- Police: Stranger Follows Woman And Assaults Her At Home
- Police now looking for three suspects in downtown Austin robberies
- Austin Company Has Your Back When Busting A Car Window To Save Children, Pets
- Police: Round Rock Mom Leaves Kids Alone In Car For 40 Minutes
- APD Searching For Downtown Austin Aggravated Assault Suspects
- Austin Hosts Summit On Protecting Power Grid From Cyberattacks
- Man Charged For Fatal East Austin Shooting
- Armed Duo Robbing People Leaving Downtown Austin Bars
Crooks Cashing Canceled Checks
Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 04:08 PM CDT
It's a piece of paper worth a lot of money. A blank check can wipe you out.
"I was actually very frightened because it was the first thing that ever happened to me," said Lauren Armstrong.
Barely out of college, Armstrong had her identity stolen by a conniving crook.
"I had to go in and get new debit cards, new credit cards," added Armstrong.
But she didn't think about getting new checks. That can be a costly mistake.
Since the start of the year there have been 346 forgery cases in the city of Austin.
Yesterday, cops arrested Theresa Pete (pictured). She's accused of using a stolen check to try and open a fraudulent bank account.
"Know your bank's policies on stop payments," recommended Austin Senior Police Officer Veneza Bremner.
That's because a stop payment is temporary. Patient criminals are holding on to your stolen checks -- sometimes for years. When you least expect it the check is cashed.
"It was expired after six months and those checks were passed after those six months," added Bremner.
Bremner recommends closing your compromised account -- making those stolen or lost checks worthless.
A lesson Armstrong learned early in her adult life.
'It was like oh welcome to the real world," said Armstrong.
Photo from Austin Police