Crime Stoppers: Tip leads investigators to wanted fugitive hidin - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Crime Stoppers: Tip leads investigators to wanted fugitive hiding in attic

Melanie Bell (Source: Greater Baton Rouge Crime Stoppers) Melanie Bell (Source: Greater Baton Rouge Crime Stoppers)
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Authorities said an assistant manager at an apartment complex accused of depositing people’s rent money into her own account was arrested Tuesday morning thanks to information from the public.

Greater Baton Rouge Crime Stoppers reported a tip led the Louisiana State Police Fugitive Task Force to the exact location of Melanie Bell, 30, of Baton Rouge. Investigators added she was found hiding in the attic of a home.

 Bell was wanted on more than two dozen counts of monetary instrument abuse and forgery. The Baton Rouge Police Department said Bell would let tenants pay their rent with blank money orders and then deposit those into her personal bank account.

Authorities said she did it 26 times, reportedly stealing $5,700 from the owner of the complex.

They added she was also wanted in an unrelated case in which she allegedly paid her landlord rent checks from an account that didn’t exist. She was wanted on charges of felony theft, issuing worthless checks and attempted bank fraud in that case.

RELATED: Crime Stoppers: Apartment complex asst. mgr. accused of depositing rent checks into her own account

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