WICHITA, Kansas – Wichita police are investigating a report of forged vouchers that were used at the JCPenney stores at Towne East and Towne West Square Malls.
The forgeries occurred from July 11 through the 20th and amounted to over $5,000. The real vouchers are from the Kansas Department for Children and Families, or, DCF.
“Yes, these vouchers, the real ones are for people trying to get back on their feet and find a job,” says Theresa Freed, spokeswoman for DCF. “People can go to retailers and buy clothes.”
But Doug Nolte, a spokesman for the Wichita Police Department, says people were cashing “fake” vouchers that were drawn up using the name of the DCF, a state agency.
“We know that 16 people turned in these vouchers. We don’t know if there is 16 different people, and they could be alias names,” said Nolte.
Some in Wichita say it’s a crime they hope police will solve.
“ Some people can’t afford good clothes to go into an interview and be presentable,” says Alex.
Alex had heart problems a few years ago, and later found himself homeless. Today he is back on his feet, and says he is outraged some people cheat the system.
“ I don’t know who these persons are who are doing this but they will be found and prosecuted,” says Alex.
Nolte says the investigation is continuing.
He says police will release more information when it becomes available.
Freed says retailers should be aware, DCF vouchers are not given to individuals. DCF vouchers are faxed or emailed directly to the retailer.