Blank checks stolen from a residential Sonoma Valley mailbox were used in a scam in which the thief assumed the identity of a man who died last June, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. Michael Edward Greene Jr., 37, of Santa Rosa, was arrested Monday for ID theft, burglary and other charges.
The investigation began last month when a woman reported that a check stolen from her mail had been cashed, fraudulently written payable to a David Tentis for nearly one thousand dollars. Tentis, however, died in June of 2012. Sgt. Michael Raasch said Greene opened a bank account in Tentis’ name, and deposited the stolen and forged check. Greene had reportedly also obtained and used credit cards in Tentis’ name.
Greene was already wanted for Vehicle Theft, Drug Sales, Weapon charges, and Violation of Probation. When authorities caught up with Greene at a Rohnert Park motel, he falsely identified himself as Tentis to avoid being arrested. A records check helped connect the two cases, and Greene was booked into county jail on the outstanding warrants and charges relating to the check theft and fake ID scam. His bail was set at $181,000.
Sonoma police put a grant from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control right to work last week, setting up a sting to nab restaurants serving booze to minors. Deploying undercover decoys, the op netted three busts: Pizzeria Capri, Round Table Pizza and HopMonk Tavern. The employees were criminally cited for furnishing alcohol to minors and the businesses are being referred to the ABC for administrative license violations. Another element of the campaign is the “shoulder tap,” in which the decoy asks an adult to purchase alcohol for them. So far, no takers in that category.
Bumps in the night
Residents on the 500 block of Joaquin got a scare when a noisy prowler aimed a flashlight into the house at 2 a.m. on February 8. “I’m at the wrong house,” mumbled the interloper as he took off, cutting through neighboring yards to briefly elude responding police. Guns drawn, the officers found the suspect, a Glen Ellen man, 43, in back of an unoccupied house on Osenda Court. “I was taking a short cut,” he explained. As for the 1.5 grams of meth in his pocket, it wasn’t his – he had just found the jacket. With no good reason for the late night foray, the man was arrested for attempted burglary in addition to charges of possessing, and being under the influence of, a controlled substance.
All made up
Add this creepy con to your list of what to worry about when your kid is online. As reported to police by her mother, a Sonoma girl, 17, was emailed from someone she had contacted through Mayhemmodel.com. The message: come to Cairo for a modeling gig, we will send the airplane ticket. Mom, who thought the lure might be some kind of sex trafficking trick, shut down the correspondence. Police think it’s a twist of a more well worn scam, in which the ‘agent’ would have eventually asked for money to secure the modeling job.
Party of one
With all the yelling and banging coming from the El Pueblo hotel room – not to mention the 36 beers and a pile of meth on the bathroom counter – it seemed like a big bash was underway. But the bizarre ruckus and drug fest was the work of one man, 29, found holed up alone in the room venting his “frustration with world affairs” at about 1 a.m. on February 8. His erratic behavior earned him an under the influence beef; the possession charge (the party pile, plus another 8.4 grams found in a probation-term search) was another easy call.