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Suspects nabbed in check fraud caper

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Suspects had allegedly been stealing checks out of mailboxes and altering them to cash for themselves.

By Tris DeRoma

Police arrested three suspects Tuesday afternoon that were wanted in connection with a check forging scheme that has been making the rounds in some White Rock neighborhoods recently. In an earlier statement, police said they were looking for people who were apparently going through resident’s mailboxes looking for checks.

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“Suspects have been targeting victims who leave checks in their mailboxes for the postman to pick up,” said police in a written statement. “The suspects have then been altering the checks and attempting to cash the checks. They would then alter them to appear they were made out to them and cash them.”

The three were arrested at the Giant station on Rover Boulevard shortly after they left a nearby branch of Los Alamos Bank.

 “Due to our patrol officers' swift response and investigative work already conducted by Det. (Paige) Early, investigators quickly responded and made 3 arrests after a traffic stop was conducted,”  said Sgt. Oliver Morris of the Los Alamos Police Department.

The suspects are: Ashley Martinez, 22; Glenn Fernandez Jr., 20 and Elsie Fernandez, 34.  Ashley and Glenn were each charged with conspiracy to commit forgery and possession of drug paraphernalia. They are both being held on a $5,000 bond.

Elsie Fernandez was charged with conspiracy, three counts of forgery, possession of drug paraphernalia and larceny.

Morris also said in its statement that they are still looking for additional suspects.

 “I want to still implore our citizens to be vigilant on reporting suspicious persons opening mail boxes and to not place checks or “sensitive” items in their mail boxes for pick up,” said Morris