A 40-year-old Ellis Grove woman has been charged with passing bad checks at several area businesses.
According to Chester Police Chief Ryan Coffey, Natasha Kincaid was arrested Thursday night on three complaints of deceptive practice.
"What we're noticing this year, and occasionally in years past, financial crimes have a tendency to pick up around Christmas time," Coffey said.
Randolph County State's Attorney Jeremy Walker told the Herald Tribune Kincaid already had a warrant for her arrest after she failed to appear in court earlier that day for a pretrial case management conference regarding a felony charge of theft over $500, but under $10,000.
Kincaid is scheduled to go to trial on that charge, a Class 3 felony, next month.
"The theft allegation had to do with checks," Walker said.
Walker said he has heard of three complaints of bad checks from local businesses in the newest incident, but is aware of more in Randolph County.
"This will not be isolated to Chester," he said.
With the holiday weekend upcoming, Kincaid has not been formally charged on the latest complaints, but Walker said he expected to file that paperwork on Tuesday.
"She's going to be charged for all these bad checks, there's no question about that," he said.
In 2012, Kincaid was sentenced to 20 days in jail, two years of probation and given credit for 10 days time served after pleading guilty to forgery (Class 3 felony). She was also ordered to pay restitution to the victims.
According to the online court records site Judici, two other counts of forgery and a count of deceptive practice (bad checks) were dismissed to facilitate the plea.
Walker was asked if he sees bad check cases increase during the holidays.
"That's something that's pretty steady," he said. "So few businesses and people use checks anymore, people use credit or debit cards.
"I don't believe we see an increase during the holidays."