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Palos Heights cleaning ladies stole checks from doctor’s office

The women stole checks during their shifts working for a cleaning crew at a doctor’s office, cops said.

PALOS HEIGHTS, IL — Three women who worked for a cleaning crew are accused of stealing blank checks from a doctor’s office in Palos Heights. Police said the women are part of an organized crime ring believed to be involved in ID thefts, burglaries and motor vehicle thefts in the Chicago area.

After numerous bank record subpoenas and follow-up interviews, the women charged on multiple felony counts of aggravated theft and forgery were identified as:

  • Michelle Colburn, 51, of Chicago
  • Magdalena Kotwica, 24, of Bridgeview
  • Carrie Jones, 41, of Chicago Ridge

Carrie Jones, 41 (left to right), Magdalena Kotwica, 24 and Michelle Colburn, 51 | Palos Heights PD

The three women allegedly stole blank checks from the doctor’s office during their cleaning shifts, then forged checks and withdrew money from the doctor’s business account. Police said two of the three women gave full confessions and their statements proved valuable in other ongoing investigations in neighboring jurisdictions.

Colburn was arrested on Feb. 1 and charged with forgery after she allegedly passed forged checks against the doctor’s account.

Jones and Kotwica both face aggravated identity theft charges after police said they used the doctor’s bank information to open online accounts and make fraudulent charges. The women are being held in Cook County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bond.

Kotwica has another pending case in which she is charged with possession of stolen title and registration and for receiving stolen goods when she was caught with a stolen 2005 Nissan Murano, police said. Kotwica is held without bond in Cook County Jail.

Police said two of the three women gave detailed confessions that proved helpful in other pending cases in nearby suburbs. All three are due back in court next month in Bridgeview.

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