Police say woman altered check from church meant to help with electric bill

Posted June 18, 2014, at 10:51 a.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 35-year-old Union woman is being held at the Knox County Jail after police said she took a check given to her by a church to pay her electricity bill and altered it to buy cigarettes and beverages at a local convenience store.

Terri Ingraham was picked up Tuesday morning by Rockland police on an arrest warrant obtained by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, charging her with two counts of felony theft by deception, forgery, and violating a condition of release.

According to the affidavit filed in Rockland District Court, Ingraham approached the minister of the Peoples United Methodist Church in Union in late April and said she needed financial assistance because her husband had been injured and was out of work. She told the minister that they owed $3,000 to Central Maine Power and their electricity was going to be disconnected.

The minister gave her a check for $200 to be paid to CMP, according to the affidavit. Ingraham was not a member of the church.

Police said she then altered the check to say cash and bought some cigarettes and beverages at the Burkettville General Store in Appleton and received cash back of about $181.

When the owner was checking receipts at the end of the day, she saw the check and immediately became suspicious because it appeared to have been altered. She contacted the minister and the bank and then the sheriff’s office when she found out what appeared to have been done.

Ingraham did not cooperate with police and the sheriff’s office obtained the warrant. She eventually was found in Rockland on Tuesday.

Ingraham had two prior theft convictions — one in 2011 and one in 2012.

She is scheduled to make her initial court appearance Wednesday afternoon.

 

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