Bad check round-up planned

Published 12:29 am Friday, June 26, 2009

Bad check writers take notice: If you have got an outstanding bad check, there’s a good chance you’ll be heading to jail in the coming weeks if you don’t take care of them.

District Attorney Greg Gambril said the office’s worthless check unit is making preparations for a “round-up” of bad check writers sometime in July.

Previous bad check round-ups have seen as many as 25 people arrested in an eight-hour period; however, this round-up will be different than those that his office has taken part in before, he said.

“Normally, one of the advantages of round-up is the element of surprise,” he said. “A round-up will involve scores of law enforcement officers and will start at daylight in hopes of catching people flat-footed. This time we are announcing ahead of time that we are going to conduct this round up in hopes that there are bad check writers out there that will go ahead and come in and take care of their checks before they’re arrested or before warrants are even taken out.”

No specific date for the round-up will be announced, he said.

“Obviously, there still needs to be some element of surprise involved,” he said. “At the same time, we want to give those — who want to avoid being rousted out of bed and arrested in front of their neighbors — the opportunity to come in and take care of the debt that they owe to the merchants that they have stolen from.”

Gambril credits unit coordinator Tina Ballard and investigator Max Smith for organizing the round-up.

Smith said virtually every law enforcement agency in the county, including state probation and beverage control board officers, will be participating.

“The different agencies will be divided into teams and will be assigned areas to work including Andalusia area, Opp area, Florala, Lockhart, Wing areas, County north, County central and County south,” he said.

Anyone who knows the whereabouts of a person known to have outstanding warrants for bad checks is asked to call the Worthless Check Unit at the Covington County District Attorney’s Office at 222-2513.

“You do not have to give your name,” he said. “Also, if you have warrants, or someone you know has warrants for bad checks and you want to find out how to take care of these charges without being arrested, again you can call Ms. Ballard at the same number.”