Bogus Check Writer Caught On Videotape
Tuesday, November 28th 2006, 3:21 pm
News On 6
This is the season for shopping, which is good news for businesses. It's also the season for bogus checks, which is bad news for the stores that get stuck with a big loss.
The Tulsa County DA does go after bogus check writers, but you can only prosecute them if you know who they are. In one recent case, the name on the suspect's check and identification were fake. News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright says the one thing he couldn't forge though was his face, and it was caught on tape.
The Smith Farm and Garden store sells some big ticket items, including a zero turn mower, worth $7,131. That's exactly the item, this man wanted. He's the one in the black jacket with a checked shirt underneath. Officials say he came into the store on Friday, November 17th and bought one.
He had a buddy driving a new, black Chevy extended cab pickup. The buddy is the one in the orange shirt. They backed in and waited for the employees to load their new purchase. The problem is, they didn't purchase it all, they stole it.
"It's a little irritating, gets you angry. A lot of us are out here working hard for a living everyday and these guys are just stealing," said Kris Stump with Smith Farm & Garden.
Kris says the check came back from the bank as fictitious, which means somebody printed it up on a computer and created an identity to match. This time, the name on the check was Randall Mills; it's also been Randall Jones and Bryan Walker.
â€œThey have many different names, many different ID's, they move into a city, take up camp and do it as long as they can. If we can ID this guy and get him off the streets, it'll be good for all of us," said Stump.
That's exactly what Kris needs, for someone to recognize these guys and call police. Without a name, they can't prosecute and try to get the $7,000 back.
Kris realizes the mower is probably long-gone.
"I think they probably have orders for it, sell it for 30-40-50 cents on the dollar. They don't get full value for it and it's just a way of making illegal funds to buy dope," Stump said.
One man's dope buying translates into higher prices for the rest of us. No business can keep absorbing this type of loss, eventually; it's passed on to legitimate customers.
The bank told Kris this type of thing is only going to get worse until eventually stores will no longer be able to accept checks.
If you recognize the men, call Crimestoppers at 596-COPS. That line is anonymous and the caller with the right tip will get a cash reward.
Kris says if our viewers can get this guy identified, he'll follow through on prosecution.