Locals ‘tattle’ on bad check writers

Published 12:07 am Tuesday, April 2, 2013

At least one person was jailed this weekend after his name was published in a listing of more than 800 bad check writers in the county – and District Attorney staff members said Monday others will soon follow suit.

Robert Barclay, 27, was arrested for two counts of negotiating a worthless instrument and held on a $16,000 bond, said Angie Cotton with the DA’s worthless check division.

Barclay was among those identified in a Saturday Star-News publication outlining those with outstanding warrants for negotiating a worthless instrument, which is also known as “bad check” warrants. DA Walt Merrell announced at the beginning of March that the names would be published and urged people “to take care of things.”

On Monday afternoon, he said his office had twice the normal number of bad checks handled in March, as people wanted to avoid having their names listed in the publication.

Cotton said phone lines at the DA’s office were flooded Monday.

“A number of them were ready to step up and take care of their business,” Cotton said. “We also had a lot of calls from people tattling to turn people in, which was great.

“We now know where to find a number of these people, and we have several people who, if they don’t come in this week and take care of things, we’ll being going to get them.”

Merrell said people called Monday from as far away as New York State in an effort to settle the old cases.

Those who are listed in the bad check publication, or anyone with information as to the whereabouts of someone on the list, are asked to call the DA’s office at 334.222-2513.

The section, which appeared in the Saturday edition of The Star-News, also will appear in the newspapers in Opp and Florala later this week.

Copies are available in The Star-News office.