Gainesville police have arrested five Atlanta men in connection with a check forgery scam and, with more arrests likely to come, are warning metro Atlanta residents to keep a close eye on their bank accounts.
Officer Kevin Holbrook, department spokesman, said police have received reports of at least 20 attempts at cashing fraudulent checks at local banks. The checks are believed to be tied to a scam where a large group of subjects steal account numbers from all over the metro Atlanta area, possibly by breaking into vehicles. According to the release, they then offer various homeless individuals money in exchange for cashing the fraudulent checks in their name.
Police have yet to learn how many individuals are involved in the scam and how many areas have been targeted, but are reminding residents to remain alert at all times. They advise residents to secure valuables in their vehicles and immediately report any suspicious bank account activity to local police.
Holbrook also said local banks had previously been warned about the scam. Several of these banks alerted police when the suspects attempted to cash the checks, allowing police to make arrests.
Troy Lamont Preston, 22, Selin Ben Jerome Akines, 22, Larry Bennett, 60, John James Davis Jr., 42, and Donrico L. Stoutmire, 33, all of Atlanta, were arrested over the last two weeks and charged with one count of forgery in the first degree.
However, Holbrook said more subjects and charges are expected to come.