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Trinity Standard - Local News

Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company

Bank scam suspect arrested in Florida
Trinity Standard -

TRINITY – A 24-year-old Houston man wanted in connection with a local bank scam was arrested Monday in Polk County, Florida. According to Sgt. Randy Wheeler of the Trinity Police Department, Roberto Guevara was one of three men identified by fingerprints after a team of scam artists hit both Trinity banks. One of the other two suspects had been deported to Mexico before Trinity police identified him as a suspect in the case. The third is still at large. According to Wheeler, Guevara has been picked up in Ohio on Nov. 24 along with eight other people in connection with a scam similar to the one pulled in Trinity on Sept. 3, 2010. Wheeler said he was told initially that the suspect would be held in Ohio and that federal authorities wanted to talk to him. “I guess he bonded out somehow and was picked up by authorities in Polk County (Florida). When they ran a check on him, they found our warrant and called us,” Wheeler said. There was some initial confusion when the Florida authorities first contact Trinity police that lead to Wheeler believing that the “Polk County Sheriff’s Department” that arrested Guevara was the one in neighboring Polk County, Texas. Wheeler said that after a gang of Hispanic men scammed local banks, they apparently moved north, hitting a number of banks with a similar scam in North Texas before finally winding up in Ohio. “This activity was apparently pretty widespread because we’ve even gotten a call from the New York State Police about a case they are working on up there,” Wheeler said. The local scam involved a gang of men who went to both First National Bank of Trinity and First Community Bank to cash what were purported to be payroll checks from Trinity Steel Fabricators. In all, First Community received 27 of the bogus checks and First National cashed five before a clerk at First Community noticed the same man coming in to cash another payroll check. A total of about$20,000 was taken in the scam. Because First Community required the men to provide fingerprints when they cashed the checks, local police were able to run those prints through a national data base. Warrants for three men who matched those prints were subsequently issued.


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