Man charged with check forgery

Published 3:31 pm Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bainbridge Public Safety arrested a man suspected of attempting to forge a check at local businesses, according to an investigator.

At around 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, BPS officers were called to Port One Liquors, located at 504 Albany Road in Bainbridge, at the request of a store clerk who reported a customer was attempting to cash a suspicious check.

Upon arrival, officers arrested Jimmy Lee Ferguson, 19, of 173 Fountain Drive in Bainbridge, charging him with one count of forgery in the first degree.

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Investigator Chris Jordan said the check was a Bainbridge College financial aid check that was recently believed to have been stolen from a mailbox along with several other items.

Jordan said the clerk at Port One Liquors told Ferguson she needed to make a phone call to verify the authenticity of the check—but instead called police. Jordan said several other businesses have reported similar instances where they refused to cash the check.

Several other individuals were questioned regarding the fraudulent check cashing, said Jordan.

Check washing arrests made

Three arrests were made on Monday in an apparent fraudulent check cashing scam involving the “washing” of checks.

On Monday, E-911 received a call about a reckless driver in the Bainbridge Wal-Mart parking lot. Thanks to broadcasting a description of the vehicle over the police frequency, a vehicle matching the description was later stopped by police in Whigham, Ga.

When the traffic stop took place, one of the three males in the car—later identified as Josh Barton—jumped out and ran into a nearby wooded area. Barton was not initially located.

Inside the vehicle police found a plastic container with two checks floating in an unknown solution along with a PlayStation gaming system.

Using video surveillance, Bainbridge Public Safety investigators were able to determine that Barton had purchasef the system from the Bainbridge Wal-Mart earlier that day. They discovered that the check used by Barton had the same account number as those found inside the car.

In speaking with the owner of the checks, investigators discovered the checks had been written for bill payments and most likely were stolen from a mailbox and then “washed.”

The other two passengers in the vehicle, Jermaine Moore, 27, of Snellville, Ga., and Michael Lamar Jones, 28, of Valdosta, Ga., were arrested and charged with forgery in the first degree.

Barton was later arrested in Tallahassee, Fla., and is in the process of being extradited back to Decatur County, according to an incident report.

July Fourth holiday travel

Traffic crashes across the state were reported to be the cause of 20 deaths over the holiday weekend.

The holiday period, which ran from 6 p.m. Thursday to midnight on Sunday, resulted in 2,490 traffic crashes resulting in 682 injuries and 20 deaths, according to the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

Although no deaths were reported in Decatur County, several took place in surrounding counties.

Seven deaths occurring in Southwest Georgia included:

Two people who were killed in a three-vehicle collision that took place on Highway 300 in Dougherty County on Saturday, according to WALB News 10.

A young man was killed in Albany Saturday night when his vehicle slammed into a tree. Kevin Sapp, 24, was killed in the accident and Georgia State Patrol reported he was not wearing a seat belt and was speeding, according to WALB News 10.

Four people from Kentucky were killed early Thursday morning in a crash that took place on Interstate 75 near Valdosta, Ga. Shortly after 2:30 a.m.—only hours before the holiday traffic period began. The vehicle carrying the four passengers collided with a vehicle in the interstate’s south-bound lanes. The vehicle was also struck by a moving truck traveling behind them, causing the vehicle to burst into flames.

Holiday weekend mailbox damage

Numerous mailboxes were damaged on the night of July 3 on Decatur County roads.

Eleven mailboxes were damaged on Chapman-Hall Road, seven mailboxes were damaged on Sasser Store Road, 14 were damaged on Blackjack Road and one on Blackjack Church Road.

According to Georgia Code, “it shall be unlawful for any person willfully or maliciously to injure, tear down or destroy any mailbox or receptacle intended or used for the receipt or delivery of mail or willfully or maliciously to injure, deface or destroy any mail deposited therein. Any person who violates this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”