Springfield man denies stealing nearly $5K from Easthampton elder
NORTHAMPTON — A Springfield man on Tuesday denied charges he stole checks from an Easthampton man and cashed them for nearly $3,000.
James Robert Kelly-Weir, 36, pleaded not guilty in Northampton District Court to one count each of larceny over $250 by a single scheme and larceny under $250, 11 counts of check forgery and nine counts of uttering false checks. He was ordered held on $25,000 bail.
Kelly-Weir is also alleged to have stolen $2,000 in cash from the same person.
According to police reports and court records, Kelly-Weir allegedly befriended an elderly Easthampton man he met at a model train exposition in Springfield and would visit his home about once a month.
According to police, sometime between June 1 and July 1 Kelly-Weir removed checks from the alleged victim’s bedroom and began using them to make purchases at Big Y supermarkets in several western Massachusetts cities including Northampton and Springfield.
Kelly-Weir also wrote out two checks to himself for $250 and $400.
Kelly-Weir allegedly used at least one of the fraudulent checks to pay his rent, according to police.
In all, 11 checks were written in amounts ranging from $39.74 to $1,289, and totaling $2,833.68, according to police.
Police also allege Kelly-Weir removed an envelope containing $2,000 cash from the victim’s home.
The victim was alerted to the fraudulent checks through his bank statement and identified Kelly-Weir as the man he met at the expo and who made visits to his home.
Kelly-Weir was identified by police through video surveillance from the supermarkets and from making out two of the checks to himself for cash, according to court files.
According to police, Kelly-Weir is wanted on two warrants related to charges of misuse of a credit card and has been charged in Massachusetts and New York with larceny, forgery, breaking and entering and other crimes.
Kelly-Weir is due back in court on Sept. 27 to determine if a change in his bail is warranted.
Bob Dunn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.