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Lower Swatara police arrest man wanted for allegedly forging 10 checks for almost $8,000

Posted 4/19/20

Lower Swatara Township Police arrested a Lycoming County man on Sunday who allegedly forged nearly $8,000 in checks stolen in a burglary in February.

Police issued a warrant for the arrest of …

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Lower Swatara police arrest man wanted for allegedly forging 10 checks for almost $8,000

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Lower Swatara Township Police arrested a Lycoming County man on Sunday who allegedly forged nearly $8,000 in checks stolen in a burglary in February.

Police issued a warrant for the arrest of Michael Lynn Andrus, 47, of Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday. According to police, he was taken into custody by police in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus.

He faces 10 felony charges of forgery and 10 felony charges of access device fraud.

According to an affidavit filed with District Judge Michael J. Smith and provided to the Press & Journal by the Lower Swatara Police Department, Andrus has a “very extensive” criminal history including 10 prior arrests for forgery, 18 prior theft-related arrests, 2 arrests for burglary; and arrests for aggravated assault, resisting arrest and escape.

Lower Swatara Police Detective Robert Appleby told the Press & Journal that tips from the public and coordination with the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force led to Andrus being taken into custody. He will be extradited back to Pennsylvania.

“A lot of inter-agency cooperation and assistance from the public is what makes it possible to apprehend wanted people regardless of what state they are in,” he said. “The U.S. Marshals Service is very good at what they do. They are a great asset to all law enforcement agencies nationwide.”

Appleby said police received at least three tips from residents through Crimewatch.

Police responded to a report of a burglary at a residence in the first block of Nelson Manor Lane at 11:56 a.m. Feb. 11. Police believe the burglary took place between Feb. 7 and 11.

The victim told police he did not know Andrus or authorized him to use his checks.

A checkbook was stolen during the burglary. Police previously told the Press & Journal that a .32 caliber pistol, television and remote, vacuum and loose change also were stolen. Those items had a value of about $1,000.

According to the affidavit, someone began cashing the checks at Citizens Banks on Feb. 12. Ten total checks were cashed — totaling $7,725 — from the victim’s account.

According to the affidavit, detectives went to the Citizens Bank in Middletown where three of the forged checks were cashed. Police wrote that the bank’s policy, all of the checks had a fingerprint on them from a man who identified himself as Andrus.

Surveillance from the banks shows Andrus cashing all of the checks. The other checks were cashed at banks in Lower Paxton Township, Harrisburg and Paxtonia.

Police wrote that some of the stolen checks had “kitchen remodel” and “tree service” written in the memo on the check, but the victim told police he never hired Andrus to do any work for him.