This story began on Thursday, May 10, at 5:50 p.m. when officers of the Santa Monica Police Department responded to the Bank of America branch at 1430 Wilshire Boulevard after they had received a report of a suspicious person without any identification who was attempting to cash a check from an account.
When the officers arrived, they were informed the suspect had already fled, taking the suspected fraudulent check.
The officers contacted the real owner of the account who told them that they had lost (or had stolen) their wallet and they had not given anyone permission to cash one of their checks.
The officers also, as a result of their investigations, discovered this same suspect had attempted to cash the check at the US Bank, located at 400 Wilshire Boulevard earlier in the day.
The officers then, after collating the required information, handed the case over to the Office of Criminal Investigations.
On Friday, May 18, investigators visited the banks and obtained video surveillance photographs of the suspect, along with other information that they could use to help them crack the case.
Fast-forward to Thursday, May 31, when officers went to Busy Bee Hardware, located at 1521 Santa Monica Boulevard and spoke with the owner. The owner confirmed the suspect used to be an employee at the hardware store.
The officers had by then also discovered that this man was currently on probation, so they went to his residence in the 800 block of 16th Street.
The officers spoke with the suspect and conducted a probation search, whereupon they discovered several pieces of evidence related to the fraud case.
The officers also retrieved evidence suggesting this man had also used two of the victim’s credit cards at a number of locations around Santa Monica resulting in several thousand dollars worth of charges.
This 39-year-old Santa Monica resident was arrested and charged with burglary, forgery, and a violation of probation. Bail was not granted at the time.
Editor’s Note: These reports are part of a regular police coverage series entitled “Alert Police Blotter” (APB), which injects some minor editorial into certain police activities in Santa Monica. Not all of the Mirror’s coverage of incidents involving police are portrayed in this manner. More serious crimes and police-related activities are regularly reported without editorial in the pages of the Santa Monica Mirror and its website, smmirror.com.