Area Couple Arrested on Numerous Felony Charges (Updated)

Jasper (NNDC):

 

JPD began receiving several reports from citizens of fraudulent activity on bank accounts in the early part of February.

Citizens were reporting that outgoing mail containing bill payments in the form of checks may have also been stolen.

One victim reported their checking account to have numerous fraudulent transactions from local businesses. JPD was able to retrieve numerous surveillance videos from these businesses showing a female suspect making the transactions.  JPD put out media releases and emails to other local agencies requesting to identify this female.  Paoli PD contacted JPD and advised the names of Lindsey and Michael Hammer.

At about the same time a storage unit facility called JPD reporting suspicious activity on the property.  A large van was caught on surveillance cameras at that time and JPD determined that Lindsey and Michael Hammer with an address of 292 W 44th St was associated with it.  In an attempt to contact Ms. Hammer, the Jasper City Utilities Office advised that Bridget Pedersen was the name with the account for that address. JPD contacted Ms. Pedersen by phone and she advised that she has been a victim of Identity Deception and Fraud and does not live in Jasper.  JPD made several attempts to contact someone at the residence however no one was located.

On February 18th 2019, JPD located Michael Hammer at the residence and detained him for questioning. After questioning JPD requested a search warrant based on the stolen identity used to get utilities from the city. The search warrant was granted and executed.   During the search JPD located a room inside the residence that was believed to be dedicated to making false identifications and counterfeit checks.  Also located in the search were numerous files containing personal documents of potential identity deception and fraud victims.  It was also believed that the house contained numerous items thought to have been stolen from storage units in the area.  Multiple trailer loads of potential stolen property were seized from the residence and are secured by JPD.   During the inventory of the items seized JPD has identified hundreds of possible victims from the local area and also spanning from numerous other states. The amount of loss is believed to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

JPD is still trying to make contact with numerous victims in the local area. JPD asks that if you have noticed fraudulent activity on banking statements or mailed payments that did not reach their proper destination to contact JPD to make an initial report with dispatch.  JPD is also asking anyone with a storage unit in the local area to check to make sure their items are secure.     Mr. Hammer was ultimately arrested and initially charged with Identity Deception and Theft with numerous other charges to follow once all victims and inventory is accounted for.  Mrs. Hammer was not initially located and a warrant for her arrest applied for and granted.  In attempt to locate Ms. Hammer, JPD assisted Orange County Deputies and Orange Co Probation with a search of a relative’s property which Ms. Hammer had listed with her probation officer.   During a consented search of the property a $20,000 Honda Side by Side ATV, that was reported as stolen from Charleston South Carolina,  was located. The large van involved in the suspicious storage unit activity was also located along with several items believed to be stolen.  It was determined the large van had a stolen license plate on it. The ATV, Van and other items were seized from the property and secured by JPD.  On February 27th 2019, Lindsey Hammer was located by Law Enforcement in South Carolina.

Ms. Hammer is facing numerous local charges there, before being extradited to Indiana to face her charges here.  The U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Postal Inspectors have been made aware of this investigation and are determining whether Federal Charges can be sought against them.    JPD would like to give thanks to the Deputies of the Dubois Co Sheriffs Dept., Troopers and Detectives with the Indiana State Police Department, Dubois Co Prosecutor’s Office, Orange Co Detectives and Probation, Summerville S.C. Police Detective, Paoli Police Dept, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Postal Service, Numerous local businesses, and the public for all the help throughout this investigation

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