Three men were arrested following an attempted fraud at the Peoples Savings Bank, 618 Scioto Street, Urbana, Monday morning around 8:40.
Gary E. Burnett, 33, of 23810 Eisenhour Drive, Circleville, was charged with forgery (F5) and attempted theft (M1).
Kentay Darteenes Wilkerson, 20, of 5400 Spire Lane, Columbus, was charged with complicity to forgery (F5) and complicity to attempted theft (M1).
Kyle Ross Hogue, 30, of 14201 Mount Perry Road, Mt. Perry, was charged with complicity to forgery (F5), obstruction of justice (F5), possession of heroin (F5), complicity to attempted theft (M1), and driving under suspension.
Urbana Police were notified of a suspicious person inside the bank who was attempting to commit fraud.
As officers arrived in the area, the suspect, later identified as Burnett, ran from the bank to elude police.
Additional officers were used to search for Burnett through alleyways and yards in the 600 block of Scioto, Court, and Church Streets.
Burnett was observed by Urbana officers in a neighborhood yard around 8:50 and a foot chase began. The chase ended with Burnett taken into custody at gunpoint in a yard in the 100 block of North Jefferson Avenue.
Police also sent out an alert to be on the lookout for a white SUV with temporary license plates, which was seen leaving the area eastbound at a high rate of speed.
A Champaign County sheriff’s deputy on patrol near Mutual observed the suspect vehicle traveling eastbound on State Route 29 and stopped the vehicle around 8:50.
The driver, Hogue, lied about his identity. He was then taken into custody.
The passenger, Wilkerson, was also taken into custody.
Urbana Police went to that location to continue their investigation and impounded the vehicle owned by Wilkerson’s sister.
All three men are being held in the Tri-County Jail awaiting an initial court appearance in Champaign Municipal Court Tuesday.
Urbana Police are now investigating other fraud cases that occurred at the bank last Thursday and Saturday.
Authorities believe the men taken into custody are part of a larger crime ring which targets banks. It is believed that the theft ring uses homeless people to complete theft offenses at banks by using stolen or fraudulent checks drawn from accounts created for various reputable businesses which have accounts at the particular bank.
Police continue their investigation and are contacting other police agencies to see if there are other jurisdictions with active investigations into this theft ring.
Additional charges are expected for the three men and other unnamed suspects as well.