Check scam suspect nabbed

Published 4:25 pm Friday, March 13, 2009

An Albany man was arrested last Saturday, March 7, due to his suspected involvement in a stolen check cashing scam that has taken place at a number of Decatur County stores and other cities across South Georgia in recent weeks.

Bainbridge Public Safety Capt. Fred Black arrested Sylvester Anderson, 61, of Albany, Ga., thanks to an alert employee at Junior Mall Grocery, located at 417 N. Scott St. in Bainbridge.

The employee called police after Anderson came into the store attempting to cash a check that resembled a fraudulent check cashed at the store in recent weeks.

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The investigation was turned over to the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Wiley Griffin said they learned that in early February, more than 1,000 business checks were stolen from Southeast Forestry Industries Inc.—a legitimate business out of Blakely, Ga. He said he believes the thieves have been recruiting others to cash the checks for them in return for a sum of money.

According to Public Safety, the surveillance video from the store shows Anderson riding a bicycle up to the store, where he got into a older-model white pick-up truck with an extended cab and returned six hours later, attempting to cash the check, according to Griffin.

Several other individuals could be seen inside the truck from the security footage.

Valerie Perkins of Bainbridge was identified as one of the occupants and was brought in for questioning, said the sheriff.

Investigator Art Davis, who is charge of the case, said the fraudulent checks have been cashed at seven local businesses in Decatur County amounting to several thousands of dollars as well as in Griffin, Ga., and Donalsonville, Ga.

The investigator said police in Seminole County are also seeking Peggy Newsome of Lakeland, Ga., in connection with some of the fraudulent checks being cashed in Donalsonville, Ga.

If you have any information regarding the stolen check cashing or believe you have received one of the fraudulent checks, please contact the Investigator Davis at the Sheriff’s Office, (229) 248-3044.