One member of what could be a group of persons traveling from Shreveport to Webster Parish to cash bogus checks has been arrested by Minden Police.
Albert Collins, 49, of the 500 block of Sally Ann Drive, Shreveport, is charged with theft by fraud and monetary instrument abuse (cashing a forged, fraudulent check).
Chief Steve Cropper said Collins is not the only one to cash a fraudulent check at a local grocery store, but he is the only person who showed his real identification when he did it.
"Back in February, we responded to our first forged, bogus check at a local grocery store where someone came in and cashed a fraudulent check in the amount of $479.22," Cropper said. "This was the very first check we got. When asked for an I.D., the person (Collins) showed his real identification, so we were able to identify him."
Cropper said the same local store continued receiving and cashing checks written on nonexistent "cleaning and janitorial" companies.
"They were all different checks from bogus companies, and the people cashing them were using fake I.D.s," said the chief. "We believe it's the same people, and we think they are paying others to come over here and cash the counterfeit checks," he said.
Springhill's branch of the same grocery chain was also hit, according to Cropper.
"They got a couple of checks," said the chief. "(Springhill chief) Will Lynd and I were in contact about our cases, and we feel they are the same group."
Cropper said whether Collins is associated with the same group is still questionable since Collins doesn't have a permanent address.
"It took us a while to locate him – he kind of lives on the streets over in Shreveport," he said. "But we did get a warrant for the very first check we got, which is the one we got from Collins."
In all other incidences, Cropper said fake identification was given with mock checks for around $400, which were made with computers and printers.
"Sometimes they will print a local bank on them or a bank out of Shreveport," he said. "The checks look good ... but, of course, they're phony."
Cropper said U.S. Marshalls picked up Collins on July 16 and booked him into the Shreveport city jail as a fugitive from the Minden Police Department.
He is now incarcerated at Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center under a $30,000 bond.