Martin County Officials Investigating Hot Checks Used to Buy Hay

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

MARTIN COUNTY--Martin County Officials are looking for a person of interest, they feel may not be working alone.

In an off camera interview, one of the victims tells NewsWest 9, she knew, almost immediately, the check she was taking was bad.  But, she took it anyway.   Martin County authorities think it may be more than one person behind it all.   It was how they carried themselves that helped make the sale.

"They carry a country aire about them    They've managed to talk the business into taking a check, which is a bad check," Sheriff John Woodward, said.

For now, Sheriff Woodward is looking for Dylan T. Forbes.  He says they have a few questions they want to ask him, "We would really like to talk to this individual and see if he can help clear up some of this."

When asked why, Woodward replied, "His name is on the checks."

But Forbes isn't a suspect, just yet.

"He, himself, may be a victim of a stolen checkbook.  That's why we would like to visit with him, to try to answer some of these questions," Woodward explained.

Based on the information gathered so far, authorities feel this may be a two man operation, "We've got several descriptions of this guy and we've had a lot of help come in.  We're working with other law enforcement agencies and we have reason to believe he may have an accomplice, maybe two people working together on this deal."

In all, six cases are being investigated in Martin County, totaling up to $3,000 worth of stolen hay, making this a felony offense.  For these farmers, that's a big chunk out of their livelyhood.

According to the Sheriff, "They can still seek legal help to be, either compensated in the court or at least see justice done."

Woodward feels they may be just scratching the surface of this investigation.  He warns residents to take extra precautions when conducting any kind of business with a stranger, especially if they want to pay by check, "I expect more of these to come out as this case progresses.  Theft by check is just plain theft.  They're stealing property."

Sheriff's officials think the stolen hay is being sold down the line, at a cheaper price, to make a quick buck.  

If you have any information on this case or you feel you may have been a victim, please call the Martin County Sheriff's Department at 432-756-3336.