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Man charged with stealing, forging, cashing grandfather’s checks

Police charged a Salisbury man with stealing and cashing several of his grandfather’s checks at a local grocery store over a two-month period.
Salisbury Police Capt. Melonie Thompson said the grandfather was looking through his bank statements when he noticed several unauthorized purchases. He contacted his bank who informed him the checks were written out to his grandson and cashed at the Food Lion at West Jake Alexander Boulevard beginning in February.
The grandfather told officials his grandson had stolen checks in the past for small amounts, but he never filed charges against the grandson.
Police charged Leo Christopher Papagni, 27, of the 200 block of Nesbitt Drive, with one count misdemeanor larceny, 16 counts felony forgery and uttering and 16 counts of uttering a forged instrument.
Officials said Papagni had been staying with his grandfather.
An arrest warrant said Papagni forged a signature on checks he’d written out to himself in February for $30.99, $27.48, $26.20, $30.55, $34.31, $24.98, $32.30 and $37.48 and cashed them at Food Lion. An arrest warrant said Papagni forged a signature on checks he’d written out to himself in March for $25.32, $30.38, $34.62, $45.55, $48.62, $24.31 and cashed them at Food Lion.
The arrest warrant also says he took 17 checks from the grandfather. He remains in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $10,000 secured bond.
Papagni was just released Thursday after serving a split sentence with the N.C. Department of Corrections for 15 felony forgery offenses that occurred throughout 2013.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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