A West Manheim Township business owner is facing charges after police allege he engaged in theft schemes that caused two victims to lose more than $15,000.
Kermit Carroll Childress Jr., 53, owner of KC Plumbing and Heating Inc., has been charged in each of the two cases with theft by deception, deceptive/fraudulent business practices, theft, receiving stolen property and bad checks, according to charging documents.
Charges from the two cases were filed against Childress on March 12 and on Monday. He remains in York County Prison on $75,000 bail.
First case: In the case filed March 12, Childress is accused of causing Hanover resident Jeffrey Rice to lose a total of $9,882.60, which Rice loaned to him in December to purchase heating and plumbing materials, as well as copper to install a water supply, police said.
Childress, of Knollwood Lane, told Rice the items were needed for a big job at a Harrisburg mansion. Childress signed a hand-written agreement on Dec. 5 that he would repay Rice $15,000, according to charging documents.
Childress increased that amount to $19,000 after purchasing $7,882.60 worth of materials from two Hanover area suppliers and after receiving $2,000 in cash from Rice, police said.
But on Dec. 10, Childress gave Rice a $15,000 check that he asked Rice to hold. The check was deposited on Dec. 27, but Rice received a notice on Jan. 2 that Childress's account was closed. Police found that the account had been closed since August 2010, according to charging documents.
Second case: In the case filed Monday, police said Childress caused Surinder Sidhill of Hanover to lose a total of $5,500, after giving him a $7,000 check from the same closed account, police allege.
In November, Childress told Sidhill that the Internal Revenue Service had put a freeze on his account and he needed Sidhill to loan him $3,500 to pay employees and buy supplies. He also told Sidhill that he had an air conditioning installment job at Johns Hopkins and was working on a three-story building project in Baltimore, according to charging documents.
Childress also promised to double his loan repayment to Sidhill, who in turn, gave Childress $3,500 in cash on Nov. 8 while they were in front of Member's 1st Federal Credit Union on Baltimore Pike in Hanover, according to police.
Childress then handed Sidhill a $7,000 check, asking Sidhill to hold it. A week after the cash-check exchange, Childress asked for and received $2,000 from Sidhill. After holding the $7,000 check for close to two months, Sidhill attempted to deposit it, only to learn that the check was from a closed account, according to charging documents.
Other checks: In both cases, police allege that Childress knew he lacked the funds to repay Rice and Sidhill and has issued other worthless checks from the closed Southwest Securities account to other people in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Similar charges against Childress were filed in Adams County by Conewago Township Police on March 12, according to West Manheim Township Police Chief Tim Hippensteel.
He said that anyone who has received such checks or considers themselves victims of Childress can call Hippensteel at 632-7059 ext. 101.
—Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org.