The owner of a Hanover plumbing and heating business was jailed on theft and other charges after he convinced people to loan him thousands of dollars and repaid them with worthless checks, according to police.
West Manheim Township police said they charged 53-year-old Kermit Carroll Childress Jr. in two theft schemes, and other police departments in Pennsylvania and Maryland are investigating him.
Childress, owner of KC Plumbing and Heating Inc., asked a township resident to loan him money to buy materials for a “big job at a mansion in Harrisburg,” according to court documents.
He then used the victim's credit card to buy $7,882 in materials and borrowed another $2,000 in cash from the man, who was compensated with a $15,000 check that Childress wrote on a closed account, police said.
A month earlier, in November, Childress borrowed $5,500 from another township man to pay his employees and buy supplies, and paid back the victim with a worthless check in the amount of $7,000, police said in the documents.
West Manheim police charged Childress with two counts each of theft by deception, bad checks, deceptive business practices, theft by unlawful taking, and receiving stolen property.
He was sent to York County Prison on $75,000 bail.
West Manheim Police Chief Tim Hippensteel said items seized during a search of Childress's home indicate that numerous Pennsylvania and Maryland residents have been victimized by Childress, including two additional township residents.
Hippensteel said those investigations are ongoing.
According to the search warrant affidavit, bank records indicate Childress's account was closed in August 2010, yet he wrote multiple checks since then.
Court records also state that Childress wrote a bad check in the amount of $19,900 in a case that is under investigation by Penn Township police.
Police in Conewago Township, Adams County have charged him with two counts of theft by deception, deceptive business practices, receiving stolen property, bad checks, and access device fraud.
Hippensteel said anyone who has been victimized by Childress, and has not come forward, may call him at 717-632-7059 ext. 101.