A Phillips man took advantage of a “big hearted” neighbor, forging checks to fuel his drug addiction, the Franklin County sheriff said Thursday.

Brent Adams, 41, was arrested Tuesday and charged with forging checks from his 94-year-old neighbor.

Adams was arrested by Franklin County Sheriff’s Office deputies Tuesday and charged with two class C counts of theft and two class C counts of forgery.

According to Sheriff Scott Nichols, the neighbor called to report a discrepancy in a checkbook after noticing two checks were missing.

Investigators found that the two stolen checks had been made out to Adams and the complainant’s name and signatures had been forged. Adams admitted to the theft under questioning, Nichols said.

Adams blamed the theft on his drug addiction, Nichols said.

The neighbor was a “big hearted person” who was trying to help Adams, Nichols said. The value of the two checks was $110, but Adams has a history of similar crimes, so the charges were elevated, Nichols said.

People can protect themselves from fraud and theft by safeguarding their valuables, including prescription pills, blank checks and credit cards and using due diligence to make sure they are not being taken advantage of, Nichols said.

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