Police search for man posing as Comcast employee to rip off businesses

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UPDATE: The subject has been identified in both cases as a Robert Yontz, 41, of Springfield, Ohio. He is currently wanted in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. He was last seen driving an early 2000’s green Chevy Malibu. Charges have been filed in Monroe Co. and Morgan Co. but no warrant has been issued as of this date. If you have any information on his whereabouts, please call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-8477.

ELLETTSVILLE, Ind. (Aug. 31, 2015) -- A man posing as a Comcast employee has managed to cash fake paychecks at more than one Indiana business.

The first instance happened on August 20 in the town of Ellettsville, where Marathon gas station clerk Kalpesh Patel was behind the counter.

"He tried to cheat me," Patel said.

Patel showed CBS4 the surveillance video of the man, who pulled up in a dark green, older model Chevy Malibu and went into the store. He waited in line with a check in his hand and when he got to Patel, explained that he wanted to buy cigarettes and cash the rest of his paycheck. The man even had a Comcast ID clipped to his shirt that Patel said looked legitimate.

"I started to argue with him, (asking) 'Can you show me ID?'" Patel said.

The man presented a paper ID and said his real ID had yet to arrive in the mail. Again, Patel said the information matched with the paycheck and the ID appeared to be real. He even wrote down the driver's license number and the man's phone number just in case.

Patel later learned that the check, license number and even phone number were all phony.

The very next day, Red Barrel Liquors in Mooresville also fell victim to the scam. Their surveillance footage showed the exact same guy, wearing the same outfit and again cashing a fake check.

"He was in the first parking space, came in, he was looking around for the cameras," manager Julie Prescott said.

Prescott's copy of the check shows the man goes by the fake name Robert Martin and even prints it with a Comcast logo so it looks real.

Ellettsville Town Marshal Anthony Bowlen said there's no telling how many places the guy has hit with this scam and where. He's hoping someone will recognize him and turn him in.

"If you were just a (regular person) looking at it, you would believe that that was an actual payroll check from Comcast," Bowlen said.

Prescott and Patel also hope someone will turn the man in. They're warning fellow businesses to be on the lookout across Indiana.

"It makes us very mad because ... anything to do to get over on you, (people) will do it," Prescott said.

If you have any information, you can call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-8477 or Detective Brad Yarnell at 317-831-3434.

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