Counterfeit checks used at Fort Mill area Food Lions

mharrison@fortmilltimes.comDecember 11, 2013 

— Police are investigating a complaint from a Georgia man who says someone obtained his checking account information and created counterfeit checks that have been used in the Charlotte area, including two Fort Mill Food Lion stores.

A total of $650 worth of bogus checks were cashed at a Food Lion on Regent Parkway and another on Hwy. 160 East, according to a Fort Mill Police Department report. The checks were drawn on an account owned by Robert Merritt of Lawreneville, Ga., who said three checks were used to buy items at those two stores and another Food Lion in Pineville, N.C., and that the suspect also received cash back with the purchases.

“The first three hit my bank and were paid before I noticed them,” Merritt said. “Then these other checks came in after the account was closed and sent back.”

Merritt said his bank reversed the transactions and restored the money to his new account, but that the theft is still causing him problems – collections attempts from Food Lion.

“Within days they were calling me telling me to say I had to pay for those checks, plus a $25 fee for each one. They’re still harassing me,” Merritt said.

Merritt said he’s never been to Fort Mill or Pineville and is still trying to work with Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion’s corporate officials to convince them he’s not responsible for the checks used at their stores, but having no luck.

Fort Mill Police have an image of a suspect captured from a store surveillance camera, according to the report. Merritt praised the department, especially the lead investigator, Det. Steven Bivins, for assisting him since filing his complaint Dec. 3.

“I want to say up front that Det. Bivins has been fantastic,” Merritt said.

He said he wished he could day the same thing about Food Lion.

“They’re totally stonewalling me,” Merritt said.

“I’ve provided every affidavit, every bit of information that they’ve asked for, but they’ve left me hanging.”

Food Lion spokesman Benny Smith said the company is determined to resolve the issue as soon as possible."

"We take these issues very seriously and work with local police and the customer to resolve this in the best interest of the customer," Smith said.

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