A safety alert has been issued for an elderly man with an apparent sweet tooth who was caught on camera committing bank fraud.
New surveillance tape from the Broward Sheriffs Office shows a man who BSO says is in his 60’s or 70’s cashing a fake check from Thomas Bolender’s Oakland Park company on Monday, February 9th for $1, 315.
Bolender, the President of Bolender Family Enterprises, told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “I guess I could say I feel victimized. I am missing $1,315 and the mystery is how they do it because all of our checks are accounted for, both unissued and issued. I have not seen this man before and do not know how this happened. It is a mystery.”
BSO said the crime happened at an American National Bank branch at 4301 North Federal Highway in Oakland Park. The man who was caught on camera used a fake driver’s license.
“The name on the license said Erick Johnson,” said BSO spokeswoman Dani Moschella. “We don’t believe the man’s name is Erick Johnson. It’s a legitimate looking check from a business. It has the correct numbers on it. It was in sequence at the business.”
Moschella told D’Oench, “Detectives don’t believe he’s the one who necessarily created the check. It may have been that they just got him to walk into the bank and hand that check over. He may have had nothing to do with creating the fraudulent check.”
While waiting for the check to be cashed, he takes the time to grab five bank lollipops from a bowl by the teller.
“He’s interested in lollipops,” said Moschella. “He really likes the lollipops. He’s pretty cool, calm and collected. He’s not worried about the crime he’s committing or the fact that he’s on surveillance tape. He’s interested in those lollipops.”
Bolender said, “I’d love to know who he is. I think and the bank thinks that he’s a homeless guy and somebody else put him up to it.”
A bank manager said that neither she nor anyone else at the bank would be able to comment.
“This is priceless video and it is so clear,” said Moschella. “Detectives are hoping someone in the public will recognize this man. Somebody has got to know who he is.”
Bolender said he would like to see the criminal caught.
“Absolutely I would,” he said. “It would mean one less criminal on the street.”
BSO has been circulating a flyer about the man who cashed the fake check.
Detectives are not sure if he has done this before.
Anyone who recognizes him or who can help solve this case should call BSO or Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS (8477).