Portland police issued a crime alert Monday, warning Old Port businesses about a thief or thieves who have been targeting valuables left in unsecured desks and file cabinets.

“There has been a rash of commercial burglaries in the Old Port over the past week,” Portland police said in a Facebook post. “Offices were entered with no sign of forced entry and the thief targeted checks from the center of checkbooks that were left in unsecured desks and file cabinets.”

In most cases, the crime was discovered after the stolen checks had been cashed. Police are asking Old Port business owners to look through their checkbooks and bank records for missing checks or unauthorized transactions.

Victims should immediately contact their bank to put a stop payment on the check and then report the theft to police.

“Remember to always keep petty cash, checks and personal belongings locked in a secure location both during the day while you are open and at night,” police advised.

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