MASON CITY | An ongoing investigation into people trying to cash bogus payroll checks at Mason City businesses has resulted in the arrest of a Minnesota man.
Police say another suspect is still being sought.
Derek Hanson, 40, of Albert Lea, was charged with two counts of felony forgery and a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Hanson was arrested Monday morning after employees at Fareway, 400 N. Delaware, alerted police to a possible check fraud at the grocery store., said Mason City Police Capt. Mike McKelvey.
Officers found Hanson and two women, Alicia Villarreal and Sabrina Truesdell, inside a car parked at EZ Pawn on Fourth Street Southwest.
A second male suspect was still being sought by investigators.
Police are not releasing his name.
The incident at Fareway was one of multiple reports of similar suspects trying to cash bogus payroll checks in recent days.
On Friday morning, suspects sped off from Hy-Vee West at more than 90 mph when officers tried to stop them, McKelvey said.
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He said the officers quit the pursuit because the roads were icy.
In some case, the suspects are accused of trying to pass the checks multiple times at the same business.
McKelvey said businesses can protect themselves by asking employees to carefully inspect the paper and fonts on the check.
He said businesses have the right to not accept a check until they verify it is authentic.
"If in doubt, call somebody local and verify it's legitimate," McKelvey said.
Hanson was free on bail Tuesday.
Villarreal, 27, and Truesdell, 30, face misdemeanor drug-related charges as a result of items allegedly found inside the car they and Hanson were in when they were taken into custody.
They remained jailed Tuesday afternoon.