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Several wanted in suspected fraudulent check cashing incidents

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Posted at 2:56 PM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 15:56:53-04

Duson Police along with several other police agencies in the State are looking for persons accused of cashing fraudulent checks across Louisiana and possibly beyond.

At least 4 individuals have cashed checks in Duson at a local business totaling $2,601.46.

Police say that these checks are fraudulent with bogus account numbers but appear to be payroll checks for local businesses. The involvement of local businesses has been ruled out and it appears that the subjects are using an assortment of legitimate business names on these checks.

Wanted by the Duson Police are:

  • Alvin Johnson who is wanted for questioning
  • Steven Nicholas Hale, 32, for Felony Forgery Charges
  • Garrett Layne Hopwood, 26, for Felony Forgery Charges
  • Sarah Rose White, 34 , for Felony Forgery Charges

Hale is also currently wanted by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff for drug charges, by Zachary PD for Monetary Instrument Abuse, Felon in possession of a firearm and Resisting an Officer Charge and by Ville Platte PD for Forgery charges.

White is also wanted by Carencro Police and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office for Forgery Charges.

All four subjects are being investigated by authorities in Rayne, Crowley and other area police departments for recently returned fraudulent checks.

At the most recent incident in Duson the suspects were captured arriving and leaving in a 2020 Dodge Pickup 1500 Model White baring Louisiana License Plate Z067622.

The checks being presented to local merchants do give the appearance of a valid check drawn from a local bank in the name of a local business. Upon closer examination routing numbers are similar signature are typically first initial and last name very legible. Layouts of the checks are similar and bank information is very suspiciously limited (no address or specific information on bank)

Duson Police released the following Tips for Retailers:

Duson Police are encouraging check cashing retailers to call the phone number listed as the business phone on the check, these appear to be bogus. If you make contact with the business then you are able to verify that the check is valid. Obtain a cell phone number from the suspect and prior to cashing the check call the number making the suspect pick up the call, otherwise do not cash the check.

Obtain thumb prints on back of the check using a standard stamp ink pad have the person dip their thumb and place the print under the endorsement line on the back of the check, this will help law enforcement verify who actually presented to cash the check.

Avoid cashing checks for people who are not regular customers, these individuals are traveling along interstates and will have limited knowledge of your area.

If you recognize any of these people or the vehicle dial 911 immediately these people are all listed in the national wanted person’s data base and a search of this truck if located will result in evidence to help prosecute these persons.

When in doubt do not cash it, these people are preying on compassionate businesses.

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