On Wednesday, March 8th, 2023, at 12:50 pm, the Turlock Police Department was dispatched to a reported fraud in progress at U.S. Bank, 427 E Olive Ave, Turlock, where a man was attempting to cash a fraudulent check of over $3,000 that appeared to be a photocopy.
Employees attempted to stall the man, however, he eventually left through the back door of the business and got into the passenger seat of a white Ford Expedition being driven by a woman. The caller was able to obtain the first two digits of the vehicle’s license plate and an on-duty police captain in an unmarked vehicle spotted it as it was driving northbound on N Golden State Blvd.
The captain followed the vehicle until patrol officers were able to catch up to it and stop it in the 99 Cents Only Store parking lot.
The man was contacted in the vehicle and identified as Elias Herrera, 26, of Modesto. A bank employee was able to positively identify Herrera without having to respond to the stop due to Herrera giving them his identification card when attempting to cash the check.
Throughout the course of the investigation, it was determined that Herrera had successfully cashed another fraudulent check of over $3,000 at the same branch on Monday, February 27th and that he was on probation for forgery.
Herrera was arrested and booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on the charge of forgery.
The woman who was driving Herrera was released, however, follow-up will be conducted for possible conspiracy charges.