Buckhannon woman charged with forgery, uttering after allegedly stealing checks

BUCKHANNNON – An Upshur County woman was arrested Wednesday after allegedly filling out and using checks that did not belong to her on a couple occasions.

Brianna Wardrope, 25, of Buckhannon, was arrested on two counts of forgery, a felony, and two counts of uttering, also a felony, charges that were reportedly connected to incidents that allegedly happened in October 2020.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer Cpl. V.J. Pyles with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police, on Oct. 15, 2020 Pyles received a complaint from one of Wardrope’s close relatives, saying Wardrope had allegedly taken several checks from her residence. Wardrope allegedly forged and uttered — or used as payment — one check at Village Hardware in French Creek in the amount of $150.

Still shots from Village Hardware video surveillance showed Wardrope passing the forged check, the file says. The report stated employees at Village Hardware were familiar with Wardrope and said she, two other males and a small child had entered the store. The checking account was a closed account. According to the report, Village Hardware was the victim of the uttering and the relative was the victim of forgery. The relative said she did not authorize any checks to be written by her daughter.

Another victim who also lived at the same residence with Wardrope’s relative told police Wardrope allegedly took one check from her checkbook, which was forged and uttered at First Community Bank in Buckhannon for the sum of $100. That person also said she did not authorize Wardrope to write any checks.

Pyles spoke with Wardrope’s relative, who identified one of the males that was with Wardrope during both transactions. The male subject was interviewed and said he was given a check by Wardrope’s boyfriend and asked to cash the check. He said the three of them went through the First Community Bank drive-through and the check was cashed by Wardrope. He said he also drove Wardrope and her boyfriend to Village Hardware Oct. 4, 2020. He said he, Wardrope and his small child went inside and Wardrope cashed the check. He said the checks were already filled out and signed, with only the “pay to order,” missing from the checks.

He said his only involvement was transporting the pair, according to the complaint.

Bail was set at $20,000.

The penalty for a conviction of both forgery and uttering is one year to 10 years in penitentiary on each count.

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