Crime Watch

Jan 8, 2014 2:34 PM by Victoria Fregoso - Q2 News

Billings officers capture suspects in illegal check-cashing spree

BILLINGS - Police arrested three men after a chase on Billings' south side Wednesday morning that started when officers received a report from a downtown bank of forged chacks.

The department announced late Wednesday afternoon that a total of five men, including four men from Georgia, were apprehended during the day.

Police allege the men are connected to a string of fraudulent and stolen check cashing this week in Billings.

Police Lt. Mark Cady described the value of checks cashed as "significant," but did not have an exact dollar amount.

"We've been following and trying to catch up with the guys who were doing it," Cady said. "They've been successful on a couple of attempts."

The chase began Wednesday morning after the men attempted to cash a fraudulent check at a bank in downtown Billings.

All Billings area banks were on alert for the fraudulent check cashers.

After the men arrived at the bank and attempted to cash a check Wednesday morning, bank employees alerted authorities.

One man was taken into custody downtown. Two other men were able to escape.

Officers were eventually led to Laurel Road and Mac Arthur Avenue where the men lost control of their vehicle and ran on foot.

Witnesses saw the two men enter a neighborhood near King Avenue East and Nimitz Drive.

Officers were rerouted to the EconoLodge on Midland Road where the two men were checking in at the front desk.

Cady said as soon as the men saw the officers, they took off and ran into the parking lot.

Officers were able to catch up with the men and they were apprehended in the hotel parking lot. An officer suffered a broken finger during a struggle.

Two more men were arrested later Wednesday. Police identified the suspects as:

- Elijah Bearing, 33, of Lame Deer.

- Chaney Sibley, 27, of College Park, Georgia.

- Fernando Allison Jr., 20, of Decatur, Georgia.

- Justin Phillips, 23, of Riverdale, Georgia.

- Demario Brooks, 20, of Atlanta, Georgia.

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