Forgery charges filed

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 20, 2005

AHOSKIE n A 45-year-old Ahoskie man is behind bars in the Hertford County Jail for passing a stolen check.

On Thursday, Arnold Lee Garner of Hayes Street was arrested and formally charged with 10 counts of forgery and one count of uttering, according to Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh. He was jailed under a $34,000 secured bond and made his first court appearance yesterday (Friday).

Chief Fitzhugh said a report was received from an Ahoskie convenience store clerk concerning an individual attempting to cash a check. The cashier at the store was familiar with the suspect and knew the check he was attempting to pass was not his.

"From what we were able to determine, Mr. Garner told the cashier that he had done some work for the person whose name was on the top of the check," Fitzhugh said. "He was attempting to purchase five packs of cigarettes as well as attempting to write the check for $20 more than the purchase price. Once the cashier questioned him about the check, he left the store."

Apparently, Garner went to another Ahoskie convenience store where he was successful in making the same type of transaction.

Meanwhile, the manager at the first store had contacted the Ahoskie Police. Sgt. Michele Garrett arrived, took the information and observed a video tape of the suspect shown at the counter.

"Sgt. Garrett then observed a man, matching the description of the person she saw on the video tape, walking along McGlohon Street," Fitzhugh said. "She questioned him, asking if he had attempted to cash a check, to which he denied."

Sgt. Garrett got the man to agree to return to the first store, hoping to get the cashier to make a positive identification. When she learned the cashier had left the store, Garrett again looked at the video tape and knew she had a match.

"Mr. Garner then admitted to the crime," Fitzhugh said.

Meanwhile, a citizen had contacted the Ahoskie Police Department and passed along information concerning the suspect.

"The citizen told us they had observed a man drop something on the ground when Sgt. Garrett was questioning a man on McGlohon Street," Fitzhugh said. "When we got back to that location, we observed a pad containing nine checks on the ground."

Chief Fitzhugh said all of the checks had been signed, thus bringing the total charges of 10 counts of forgery.

Fitzhugh thanked the citizen for their involvement in the case as well as praising the efforts of Sgt. Garrett and APD Captain Mike Cherry in making the arrest.