A man from Ventura County, Califorina has been arrested on charges of identity theft after manipulating tithe checks from churchgoers in Thousand Oaks, Califorina.
The investigation commenced in December 2023 when a local resident reported their tithe check - a charitable donation to their church - had been stolen, altered, and deposited into an unknown bank account.
The East County Investigations Fraud/Forgery Unit head up the extensive investigation alongside Ventura County Sheriff's Office patrol deputies and bank investigators.
They said several other victims whose personal information had been compromised were identified during the course of the investigation.
Although the total amount stolen from the victims remains undisclosed, authorities confirmed that the victims were not all from the same church congregation.
Further details about how the perpetrator gained access to the tithe checks remain unclear.
Four victims have been identified so far - a 62-year-old woman and three men aged 32, 74, and 53.
The suspect is currently jailed on multiple counts of identity theft along with various other allegations. His bail is set at $100,000 (£79,000).
In light of this incident, authorities have urged the public to be vigilant when sending personal checks and often review their account statements for any signs of fraudulent activity.