Suspected mail thief thwarted at bank

Suspected mail thief thwarted at bank

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Police Department is looking for a man who was caught for a second time trying to use stolen checks and IDs to feed his drug habit.

Investigators say David Berarducci steals from rural mailboxes, but tellers at a local bank kept him driving away with a $3,200 payoff.

The stolen checks were drawn from an account at State Bank Northwest, so the thieves drove there after working up a fake ID corresponding with the recipient's name and Chattaroy address.

"My teller questioned the ID that was presented, it was temporary, not sure if we could use it or not, and he brought it over and I saw it, I recognized the name," said Patty Murray, branch manager of State Bank Northwest.

But Murray did not recognize the guy behind the wheel of the Jeep sitting in the bank's drive thru who was trying to cash $3,200 in checks.

"I think it's great that we know our customers," said Murray. "We're small and we pride ourselves on knowing our customers and have a good working relationship with us."

And that's when the bank staff started working to keep Berarducci from panicking and driving off.

State Bank Northwest tellers know how to stall when they have to.

"They were out there for about ten minutes and we just said, because of the dollar amount, that we needed to get approval, that's what my teller had told him," said Murray. "In the meantime, I'm on the phone with 911, giving them information and trying to hold them here as long as we could."

Berarducci did eventually drive off, leaving behind his bogus checks and his fake ID.

The man who had his mail stolen, happy with the head's up play he got from his bank.

"Couldn't have happened any better that the people there knew us," said the ID theft victim, who didn't want to be identified. "She did her job great. The whole staff there did. The bank did everything right and it was really good to see people care that much."

While the victims did get their money back, they have been robbed of their innocence. They are no longer using their long-time mailbox. Whatever mail they get, they now pick up at the post office.