Personal Information Missing After Sam's Club Robbery
Checks among items that were stolen in bizarre forklift robbery.
A robbery that occurred on February 8th may still be haunting some local residents, even those who weren't the immediate victims.
A man wielding a gun held up the Sam's Club in Canyon Country on that Sunday evening a few weeks ago. He had been hiding in the store, waiting until it closed to make his move, in which he was able to force an employee to open a safe.
After grabbing an undisclosed amount of cash and other items from the safe, the robber drove a forklift through the front door to make his escape. He is still at-large today.
In a new development, some Santa Clarita residents who were safe at home when the robbery occurred are now finding that the robber may have made off with items of theirs too. Some checks that have been written in the period of time leading up to the robbery were taken as well.
This was first reported to KHTS by a shopper who noticed that their check to Sam's Club at the time of the robbery had not been cashed as of February 19th. Upon calling Sam's Club, they were told that the check was among the items the thief had stolen from the safe.
This presents considerable concern, in that each check taken provides the thief with personal information that could be used to commit identity theft.
Arif Haliby, who hosts the Total Money School hour and Total Financial Solutions on KHTS AM-1220, says that anyone who wrote a check to Sam's Club on or around February 8th should immediately call their bank and see if it was cashed by the company.
"If it hasn't been cashed, then you should call Sam's Club and ask if your check was a part of the robbery. If they say yes, stop payment on that check immediately."
Haliby went on to say that there is much an identity thief can do with the information found on a check.
"They have your bank account number, they have your signature, your name, address and a copy of your handwriting," he said. "Now this person can take that information, buy check stock and start writing checks in your name."
Exactly how many customers' checks were taken is not yet known, but Kristy Reed, spokesperson for Sam's Club said that they are trying to figure it out.
"We are searching through all of the transaction data now," she said. " And when we are able to determine who was affected, we will be reaching out to them."
Another issue open for speculation is whether or not the robber will use the checks, or if he was simply after the cash.
Either way, Haliby says its better to be safe then to be sorry.
"That check is out there, and a bad guy has it," he said. "So you've got to be safe."