An alleged check forger is in custody after running a scam on a Bonney Lake resident using stolen checks and then getting too greedy.
Police on July 28 took a report in the Public Safety Building from the victim of a fraud. The victim told police he and a friend were int he Rite Aid parking lot practicing “parkour” when a man approached and asked for a favor.
The man said he had a bank check in the amount of $827 made out to him, but his vehicle had been impounded with his wallet inside and now he has no way to cash it. The man promised $100 if the reporting party would deposit the check in his account and give him the cash.
The reporting party agreed and he deposited the check in his account and withdrew the maximum amount of cash available ($500) and gave it to the suspect along with his cell phone number. The suspect promised to call and deliver the $100 when he got his car out of impound.
The victim believed he still had $327 of the man’s money so that he felt he had leverage that the man – whose name he did not know – would have to call.
But soon after, the victim became suspicious and called the person whose name was on the check he’d just deposited and learned that those checks had been stolen and canceled.
The victim then called the police and provided officers with an ATM receipt of the transaction and a description, but said the suspect who wore a baseball cap and aviator sunglasses never got in front of the ATM’s camera.
Police recognized the name on the stolen checks from a June 26 incident at Columbia Bank in which a suspect attempted to cash a similar forged check.
The next day, the victim called police to report the suspect was attempting to get his $327. Police advised the victim to tell the suspect to come into Bonney Lake to get the money and the suspect agreed to meet at the Burger King on state Route 410. The victim pointed out the suspect as he exited the restaurant and police arrested him.
Police located a wallet in his pocket, but the suspect immediately said he found it in the bushes. The identification in the wallet was obviously not the man in custody. Also in the wallet were other checks matching the one given to the victim. Two additional checks with a different name were also found.
The suspect told the police the additional checks belonged to his father, who did not know he took them and gave the police his name. The suspect also insisted the victim solicited him and said he found the checks in the woods, burning a large number of them, though he admitted to selling some for $10 a piece. Additionally, he told police he did not know that what he was doing was a “big deal.”
Police showed him a photo capture from the Columbia Bank incident and he said “I’m not gonna lie, that’s me.”
Police also contacted the man whose wallet the suspect was carrying and discovered the items had been stolen from a vehicle in Buckley.
The suspect was transported to Pierce County Jail and booked on charges of possession of stolen property, possession of another’s ID and forgery. Pierce County records showed the suspect had an a case number in Pierce County for attempting the same tactic on a different victim.
Additional charges are possible.