ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — St. Paul police are looking for the person who passed bad checks and cheated several girls scout troops out of 600 boxes of cookies.
The theft was noticed after the troops began their internal audits. Girl Scout representatives say nine worthless checks were discovered that were responsible for scamming the troops out of $2,400.
“Our girls work so hard all cookie season. They are just amazing,” said Jolene Ross.
For the past two years, Girl Scout troops in the River Valleys have seen an increase in sales of girl scout cookies. Almost five million cookies were sold this year.
But it wasn’t until troops conducted an audit that they learned some 600 boxes had been bought with bad checks.
“Nine checks for seven troops,” Ross said.
Those nine checks accounted for $2,400 scammed from the girl scout troops.
“They work with honesty and fairness in mind and then for somebody to target them with this type of a crime to steal cookies from them, it’s unthinkable,” said Sgt. Mike Ernster.
St. Paul police were called and say they already have leads on who is responsible.
“The checks are coming from the same person. We’re trying to verify who that person is. It’s the same name on the check, whether it’s the name of the person that’s issuing them or not we’re still trying to determine that,” Ernster said.
While police work, Girl Scouts River Valleys made sure the troops that were scammed are not on the hook for the money lost.
“We actually reimburse the troop for the full amount so that way the girls are not individually affected by this and we have the council take on that burden,” Ross said.
Girl Scouts have extensive banking and money handling procedures for troops to follow. The council will look at those procedures to determine if there needs to be any change.