SKOWHEGAN — Bail was set Wednesday at $2,500 cash or $25,000 worth of property for a Canaan man facing 10 counts of felony forgery and eight counts of theft by deception in an alleged forged-check-cashing binge that netted him as much as $12,000.

Matthew J. Reilly, 25, of Strickland Road, Canaan, is charged with forging business checks from Kennebec Metals recycling in Skowhegan and cashing them at stores in Athens, Anson, Clinton and Augusta, as well as the Skowhegan Walmart and Bangor Savings Bank, according to court documents.

It was unclear Wednesday how Reilly got the business checks or whether he is a former employee of the recycling company.

The thefts are alleged to have begun Dec. 30. In four check forgeries at the Athens Corner Store, the clerk on duty asked for and was provided with a Maine driver’s license belonging to Reilly, whose likeness also was captured on the store’s video surveillance camera. Casey’s Market in Anson and Galusha’s in Clinton also were targets, documents show.

Trooper George Neagle, of the Maine State Police, and Detective Mathew Cunningham, of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department, worked on the cases. About 5 p.m. Tuesday, Neagle received a call from a family member of one of the victims saying that Reilly was in his car at George’s Banana Stand on Madison Avenue in Skowhegan, according to court records. Neagle called the Somerset County Regional Communications Center, which contacted Skowhegan police and asked them to stop and hold Reilly. Skowhegan patrol Officer Tim Williams arrested him and took him to the police station, where Cunningham picked him up and took him to jail.

Reilly has three previous convictions for theft in Ellsworth District Court in 2010. He made his initial appearance Wednesday via video from the jail at Skowhegan District Court. His lawyer for the day was Peter Barnett of Bingham. Barnett could not be reached for comment on the case Wednesday.

Reilly is scheduled to appear in court again Feb. 25.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow

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