Porchia Rumph (L) and Jimmy Rush (R)
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Some metro Atlanta taxpayers did not receive their refunds because they were stolen. Gwinnett County Police are investigating the theft of at least 33 US Treasury checks that were supposed to be delivered by mail to area tax payers.
One of the victims whose check was stolen was Davisha Jackson of Norcross. "It was frustrating because it wasn't just a little bit of money," she said.
Police said the 33 checks they recovered were valued at nearly $43,000.
Police arrested two people and charged them with Forgery and Possession of Marijuana. Jimmy Rush, 31 of Decatur, and Porchia Rumph, 24 of Conyers, are being held at the Gwinnett County Jail.
Members of the police departments Highway Interdiction Team (HIT) stopped a 2011 Dodge Charger that was tailgating a tractor trailer on I-85 in Buford Tuesday. Rush was driving that car and Rumph was a passenger.
Police found $8,000 in cash inside the car and the tax refund checks in the trunk. "They were actually in the spare tire well in the trunk," Corporal Jake Smith said. "So they were making an effort to hide them."
Gwinnett Police have asked the US Secret Service and the US Postal Service to assist in the investigation. "We believe that these checks were likely stolen from one central location and probably given to these people," Cpl. Smith said.
Police said all 33 checks they recovered were endorsed by the same signature. According to a police incident report police also found four receipts "which showed that checks had been cashed at a possible cash checking institution."
Davisha Jackson said she was contacted by police on Thursday. "They asked if I gave anybody authorization to have my check," she said. "I was like, no sir, I didn't."
"That's my money, I worked hard for it, she said. "It's crazy; I don't see how anybody would do that to somebody."
The rest of the checks belonged to taxpayers in Smyrna, Stone Mountain, Lawrenceville, Marietta, Villa Rica, Kennesaw, Norcross, Roswell, Decatur, Lithonia, Douglasville and Kingston.
Police believe there are victims who don't know their checks are missing. They also believe Rush and Rumph could be part of a larger check stealing ring.
Police said if you haven't received your tax refund and it seems like it is late arriving, call the IRS. They can tell you if your check has been cashed. If you think your check has been stolen, call police.
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