Missouri man charged with forgery

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

BERRYVILLE -- A Missouri man is facing forgery charges here after police say he passed stolen and forged checks at several area businesses.

A video surveillance camera reportedly identified the suspect, believed to be an acquaintance of the woman whose checks were stolen.

The 45-year-old suspect, Doug Owings, of Forsyth, Mo., is accused of breaking into the victim's trailer house and stealing the checks while she was incarcerated in a Missouri correctional facility.

He reportedly signed her name on at least two of the checks that were passed at Price Cutter in Berryville for $180.68 on Nov. 19 and $164.02 on Nov. 21.

He is also suspected of passing forged checks at Main Liquor and White Oak Station in Berryville and at Harps grocery in Green Forest.

Police say they were contacted by the victim's sister who reported the theft and the trail of forgeries that followed. She did not know who had stolen the checks.

Officer Kevin Disheroon, with the Berryville Police Department, said they had no idea who was passing the stolen checks.

A video from Price Cutter did not show the suspect's face clearly because he was wearing a cap.

Disheroon said Det. Robert Bartos, who received two forged checks on the same account from White Oak Station, conferred with the county's hot check coordinator, Tammy Johnson, who provided background information on the victim and the name of a man she had been arrested with in the past.

Disheroon said Bartos pulled up the booking photos of the man and found his facial features to be similar to the suspect in the Price Cutter video -- but they still didn't have a conclusive match.

However, the video from Harps in Green Forest showed a reportedly nervous man at the register when the clerk stepped away with the check briefly, and "a good look at the man's face as he exits the store."

Armed with a clear view of the suspect, Disheroon said he consulted with the victim's sister and found she knew Owings, could identify him, and agreed to come to Berryville to view the video.

"When she saw the video from Harps, she stated it was Owings," Disheroon said. "She gave me the confirmation I needed."

As a result, Owings is facing two counts of forgery in Berryville. He is currently being held in the Taney County Jail fighting extradition. Disheroon said more charges are expected as other agencies complete their investigations.

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