Authorities Investigate East Texas Check Theft

Several East Texas residents are now the victims of theft. An undisclosed number of checks written to local businesses over the past week were deposited into Regions and Texas State banks, but those deposited checks were stolen before they got to the federal reserve. The thieves reportedly changed the amounts and payee's names on the checks.

"I got a call from a family member of mine that said that they had written a check for $15 and that Regions Bank had called them and said that the check was involved in some kind of theft, and that it had to do with four people being arrested and the FBI was involved," said an East Texas woman.

The woman's relative wrote the check to Sue's Diner in Zavalla a week ago, but the diner's owner said the restaurant is not affected by the theft.

"It's pretty serious; apparently there was a bag of checks stolen."

Some of the theft victims were told to close their bank accounts and open a new one with a different account number.

Regions Bank officials declined KTRE's request for an interview, but released the following statement: "...There were very few Regions customers affected in this incident and we have personally contacted all of them. We are doing everything we can to help our customers as quickly as possible and are taking all precautions to guard against fraud."

The branch manager at Texas State Bank also declined to comment while the case is under investigation. A spokesperson for the FBI said she can neither confirm nor deny there is an investigation.

*Texas State Bank is not affiliated with Texas Regional Bancshares, Inc.