CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Bellefonte man is facing theft charges after state troopers say he stole a checkbook and wrote thousands of dollars in checks across several counties.

State police were first notified in late December that someone wrote numerous checks on a man’s bank account after he checked his account online, something he said he did infrequently. The man reportedly told troopers the last check he wrote himself was from July 2020 and he usually kept his checkbook in his truck.

Through surveillance footage from the various businesses where checks were written, state police zeroed in on 48-year-old Eric Decker. Decker was pulled over in his truck and questioned on February 16. He reportedly told the investigating trooper that someone was putting bad checks in his account.

When Decker’s truck was searched, a pair of boots were located that were paid for using a forged check and Decker was reportedly wearing a pair of Carolina Boots also bought with a stolen check. Two muzzleloaders were also taken from the truck by state police as well as a .22 caliber rifle. Two .22 caliber magazines were also on the seat of the truck and state police say numerous bank cards from victims spanning multiple states were located.

Decker reportedly confessed to stealing the checkbook from the man’s truck when he was at a convenience store and noticed it was unlocked. In total, Decker wrote $4,856.65 worth of checks to buy items at 20 different businesses and accumulated $75 in check fees.

Decker was arraigned Thursday afternoon on charges that include felony theft, forgery and identity theft. He remains jailed in Centre County with bail set at $20,000 cash. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 7.

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