Police

Woman Accused of Identity Theft, Forgery in Lower Saucon Cases

Summer Helm

Summer Nicole Helm, 29, of the 800 block of Prangley Avenue, Lancaster city, was identified as a suspect after investigators reviewed bank surveillance footage, following a Sept. 10 vehicle break-in at Polk Valley Park.

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A Lancaster County woman is facing multiple charges of identity theft, forgery and illegal use of an access device stemming from two incidents that occurred in Lower Saucon Township last fall.

Summer Helm

Summer Nicole Helm, 29, of Lancaster city, is charged in two separate Lower Saucon Township cases involving identity theft. Following her arrest on an outstanding warrant in Philadelphia and her transfer back to the area, she was arraigned and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $85,000 bail Thursday. (Credit: Crimewatch/Lower Saucon Township Police Department)

According to township police and court records, Summer Nicole Helm, 29, of the 800 block of Prangley Avenue, Lancaster city, was identified as a suspect in the first case after investigators reviewed bank surveillance footage following a vehicle break-in at Polk Valley Park in September.

In a criminal complaint filed against Helm in Northampton County District Court 03-2-04 on Oct. 10, police said the break-in occurred on Sept. 10, 2023, and that its owner had reported the theft of her wallet containing her driver’s license and a TD Bank debit card.

On Sept. 14, police said the woman reported that two days earlier someone had forged her signature on a withdrawal slip and withdrawn $2,400 from her account at a TD Bank branch in Phillipsburg, N.J.

Police said they subsequently learned that on the same day another fraudulent withdrawal of $2,460 was made using the woman’s account number at the bank’s Palmer Park branch near Easton.

It was after reviewing security footage from the branches, police said, that they identified Helm as the suspect in both of the illegal withdrawals.

A month later, on Nov. 10, police said they again spotted her on footage obtained from Embassy Bank on Rt. 378 in Lower Saucon Township.

In that case, police said Helm allegedly posed as a different woman by presenting the woman’s driver’s license and debit card, in order to fraudulently cash two checks for $2,500 on Nov. 8 and Nov. 9, respectively.

Upon reviewing the bank’s drive-thru lane surveillance footage, the investigating officer wrote in an affidavit of probable cause that he “recognized the suspect as Summer N. Helm from another recent incident involving the same type of fraudulent activity.”

By then, Helm was already wanted on a warrant for her alleged use of the stolen bank card to make the two fraudulent withdrawals in September.

It wasn’t until Wednesday, however, that she was reportedly arrested in Philadelphia.

Helm was then transferred back to Northampton County for a preliminary hearing, which according to court records was held before Judge Alan Mege Thursday morning. Mege committed her to the county prison in lieu of a combined total of $85,000 bail, court papers said.

The dockets filed in her case list a combined total of 14 felony charges filed against her.

Helm’s next court date is a preliminary hearing that is currently scheduled for Monday, Feb. 26 at 11:30 a.m. at the district court in Lower Saucon Township.

Court papers did not list an attorney for Helm.

Note: All individuals arrested or charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty. This story was compiled using information from the Lower Saucon Township Police Department and court records.

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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at josh@sauconsource.com.

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