Police arrest 'new generation of bank robbers' in check-cashing scheme
Providence police on Wednesday said they busted a "new generation bank robbers" involved in a check-cashing ring.
Authorities told NBC 10 News that Shantel Meza, Jamal Mansaray, Monica Dossantos, Cindy Quiroa and Kareem Barros stole hundreds of thousands of dollars.
All five were charged with forgery and counterfeiting, obtaining money under false pretense and conspiracy.
The scam, which targeted multiple Rhode Island cities, also reached into Massachusetts.
“You know what this is? This is the new generation of bank robbers,” Maj. David Lapatin said. “You don't go into the bank with a gun anymore and hold it up. You do it this way.”
Lapatin said the scam came to light when a retired Providence firefighter noticed a large sum of money was taken from an account at a Citizens Bank branch in North Smithfield and moved into another. He added that Meza worked at the bank.
“They were trying to cash a check with his name on it to get money out of checking account,” Lapatin said.
According to police, the suspects were duplicating checks, changing them and cashing them out.
Lapatin wouldn't go into detail, but said several cities were also targeted.
“We've had attorneys we've had complaints from all you need to do is take a picture of that check and then you can doctor it, put it on other stock and cash checks with that same check,” he said.
Lapatin is now urging people with big payrolls to check their records and make sure money isn't missing from their accounts.
Police asked the FBI to join the investigation, with authorities also issuing warrants for three other people. Still, they believe even more are involved.
If you believe you've been targeted, contact police immediately.