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Unitarian Church Billed for $27,000 in Fraudulent International Calls

Theft and burglary to a motor vehicle are also among offenses recently reported by the Hinsdale Police Department.

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Fraud—Unitarian Church of Hinsdale reported to police that an unknown suspect billed $27,020.09 worth of international phone calls to the church’s account between 10:35 a.m. Nov. 13 and 8:18 a.m. Nov. 14, according to the .

“It’s fair to say there were several hundred phone calls that were made using this account,” Deputy Chief Mark Wodka said, noting that is was not clear whether the calls were made manually or by an electronic device.

The deputy chief said cases of theft of service, in which a suspect uses the account information of a victim to fraudulently bill services, are not rare.

“This case is unique because of the volume of calls and the amount of dollar loss in a short time period,” Wodka said.

The church, located at 17 W. Maple St., reported the issue to police on March 22 and has been reimbursed by the phone company, Wodka said. The police department is looking into whether the calls were placed within their jurisdiction.

“We’re still looking to determine whether the crime itself could be investigated further within the Village of Hinsdale,” Wodka said.

Theft—An employee of ArtQuest Gallery, 49 S. Washington St., reported to police that an unknown suspect stole a credit card and $120 cash from her wallet while the wallet was left unattended at the front of the store between 2:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. March 18.

The victim reported the theft after a purchase was made with the credit card in another jurisdiction. The case is currently pending.

Burglary to motor vehicle—An unknown suspect stole from a landscaping truck a lunch bag containing the victim’s driver’s license, state ID, credit card, and wallet while the truck was unlocked and parked in the 100 block of South Oak Street at 9:30 a.m. March 26.

The case is currently pending.

Criminal damage to vehicle—One or more unknown suspects egged the vehicle of a victim driving in the area of 55th and Bodin streets at 9 p.m. March 23.

The vehicle’s paint was damaged in three areas, but the cost of the damage was unknown at the time of the report. The case is currently pending.

Patch reports on law enforcement activity in our towns, using information provided by official agencies. Persons charged with a crime, or issued a citation for violation of a local ordinance, are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. If you or a family member are charged with a crime or cited for a violation, and the charge or citation is subsequently adjudicated, we encourage you to notify the editor of this Patch site by emailing joe.odonnell@patch.com and we will do follow-up reporting on the case.

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