A Pasco man pleaded innocent to allegations he stole several checks from a woman who had hired him to pack and move her belongings, and later forged them to get cash.
Michael Keith Owen, 30, faces trial July 30 for second-degree identity theft.
According to court documents, the woman had hired movers to take care of her home's belongings between Oct. 29 and Nov. 16. Once the move was complete, she discovered several of her checks were cashed by Owen, documents said.
Four checks for a total $1,350 were forged and taken to Moneytree and Ace Cash Express in Kennewick.
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Owen allegedly tried to cash another check at Chase Bank in Puyallup, inside a Fred Meyer branch, but was denied. Surveillance video inside the store captured the transaction and helped Richland police identify the suspect.
Police then contacted an Ace Cash Express employee to verify if Owen was the person who had cashed the stolen and forged checks, court documents said. The employee confirmed it was Owen, telling officers he had an account with the check-cashing store for several years, documents said.
Owen was arrested Tuesday. His bail was reduced Wednesday to $7,500.