Police say three suspects successfully cashed a fake check at a bank in Cloverport, Kentucky Wednesday morning before moving across the river to Tell City.
Details of the
investigation are still pretty murky at this point, but police say it seems
these men were professional 'scammers' attempting to cash fake checks in at
least four different states.
A little bit after 9:00 a.m., Wednesday morning, an employee at Tell City's South Branch of German American Bank noticed one man was trying to cash a fake check.
"Officers of Perry county and Tell City Police Departments were alerted of this," says Detective Alan Malone. "From there, officers were able to spot a vehicle matching the description of the suspect vehicle."
Tell City Detective Malone was one of those officers who tried to stop them, on 12th Street.
"From there, the vehicle did stop, momentarily, but then took off fleeing from police officers," says Malone.
Nearby, Ken Simpson of 'Engineer Associates' sat in his second-floor office, overlooking Main Street while he spoke to his brother on the phone, who was listening to a scanner.
"He said, 'Now they've crossed 11th and Tell.' he says, 'they're over on Fulton Street. Now, they've turned on Fulton, they're going down Main. Now, they're on the 800 block of Main Street.' I said, 'Well, that's right in front of my office," says Simpson.
When Simpson looked down, he saw four police cars trying to pull over a blue Chevy and with several guns drawn on them, the suspects surrendered.
"These suspects were throwing articles
outside of the vehicle," says Malone. "And at that time, we weren't sure what
they were. But, we later found out that those were partial checks and torn
checks and, what appeared to be, burn-marked checks."
The suspects did what they could to try to get rid of the remaining fake checks.
But they couldn't shred and burn all of them in time, and police believe they had 12-20 that they were planning to cash.
"Tell City has a good police force," says Simpson "And I don't know if these guys thought they were going to be coming across Barney Fife. But at any rate, I'm sure they were surprised. And boy, they were Johnny on the spot. It was great. It was good to see."
Detective Malone says these fake checks were made to look like they were made out by small businesses in Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, and Iowa.
He also says the vehicle the suspects were using was a rental from Lincolnton, North Carolina.
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