One Bad Check Too Many Lands Man In Jail - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/25/05

One Bad Check Too Many Lands Man In Jail

Investigators say Benjamin Atkinson used many names and checks he made on his own computer to go on a multi-state crime spree.

Bobby Payne, and investigator with the Attorney General's office, has been following Atkinson's trail.

"He manufactures these checks, these counterfeit checks, and just uses them at any business that accepts them from him. I believe he ran it up to about $250,000 in the last year."

Payne says Atkinson went from state to state using the checks that he would sometimes alter by changing the business name. But Payne says he messed up when he went shopping at the Gulfport Office Depot.

"This particular check is from Office Depot where he bought a laptop computer for approximately $1,100. This is the one they notified me on that he was back in Gulfport."

The notification came from a national check verification company called Certegy . The company tipped off Payne whenever Atkinson was in the area using the bogus checks. But Payne was always a step behind him. That is until one day last week when Atkinson tried to write a check in Circuit City.

"The clerk knew what was going on, they all knew. The manager of the store knew and the clerk knew. Certegy was telling them to stall him... and that's what they did. They stalled him just long enough for me to get there."

The store surveillance video shows Payne handcuffing Atkinson.

"He was really surprised, but then he realized it was all over."

With the shopping spree and crime spree over, Atkinison is now in the Harrison County Jail.

Atkinson is originally from Gulfport, but has been living in Florida. He had an initial court appearance Tuesday morning where his bond was set at $150,000.

byMarcia Hill

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