Paper Trail Of Cash Register Tapes Leads To Theft Arrest

November 28, 1991|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Staff writer

A county police detective used grocery store register tapes to trackdown a woman who police say allegedly broke into homes and stole blank checks that she cashed at area stores.

Rebecca Kathleen Cooper,33, of the 1500 block of Pine Whiff Avenue in Edgewater, was chargedwith seven counts of breaking and entering and theft charges, policesaid.

Det. William Schenck, of the Southern District Station, said Cooper had allegedly broken into seven homes in the Edgewater area from July 19 to Oct. 28. Only checkbooks and grocery store check-cashing cards that would allow her to cash the checks at either Giant or Safeway were taken, he said.

Cooper allegedly cashed the checks at a Giant store and a Safeway store in Edgewater and bought children's and adult diapers, Schenck said.

"Some of the items she bought identified her," Schenck said. "She had a small child in diapers and a 12- or13-year-old daughter who was wearing adult diapers. Those items led to her name and the name led to her picture."

The detective said cash register tapes list exact items purchased. He then went back to neighborhood where the burglaries had taken place and received a tip that there was woman a living in the area whose family used adult and children's diapers.

"That's fairly unusual," Schenck said of the adult diapers. He ran Cooper's name through the computer and found that she had been arrested before.

Schenck took the mug shot from that arrest and showed it to three clerks in the Giant store, who identified her as the woman who cashed the checks.

Schenck said the total amount of the checks cashed was $3,813.72.

He said the crimes stopped after Cooper was hit by a car in the Safeway parking lot in Edgewater while riding her bike.

Cooper was arrested and brought to Southern District Station on Tuesday.

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