Check Fraud Culprits From Houston Hit Midland

by Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Fake checks, stolen account numbers and stealing cash is becoming a big problem in the Tall City. These out of town crooks breeze into the Basin, get all the cash they can and ditch town before anyone notices. Now Midland police are trying to put a stop to it and they need your help.

This investigation has been going on since October and Midland police are trying to put on thumb on these thieves. But they're giving a warning to West Texans to be careful with their account information so as to not make it easy for thieves to get their hands on your hard earned cash.

"They are stealing business name, routing and account information and printing them on counterfeit checks," Sgt. Alfredo Grimaldo with the Special Investigation Division in Midland, said.

That's how several crooks are getting away with the dough. The group of men and women are coming from metropolitan areas to do their crimes in the Basin and make a quick getaway.

"It's very common, out of town people come so they won't be recognized, they won't stay very long and pass as many checks as quickly as possible," Grimaldo said.

The group of five men and women cashed in on a total of $13,000 and all of their action took place at a Community National Bank in Midland. But what can you do to protect your business and your personal information so it doesn't fall in the wrong hands?

"All businesses need to take extra precautions for people who cash their checks," Grimaldo said.

But Midland is not the only city that may be getting hit by crooks like these.

Police have served warrants for these suspects in the Houston area. They are looking for 34-year-old Amanda Zimmerlee, 51-year-old George Williams, 44-year-old Steven Baker, 18-year-old Justin Logan and 44-year-old Kenneth Doucet.

In the meantime, police hope that people are aware of this issue so that more banks and customers don't become victims.

"By they time they're identified that its counterfeit, the person might be out the door," Grimaldo said.

The warrants for these culprits have already been served. Each suspect is being charged with forgery.

Police are also continuing their search for other suspects in the area accused of causing the same crime.