WENATCHEE - After a weeks-long, multi-agency investigation by regional law enforcement officials, an East Wenatchee man has been arrested on multiple charges, including forgery and attempted theft.
According to a statement issued by the Wenatchee Police Department (WPD), the investigation began in October, when the WPD responded to a local bank where on-duty tellers suspected that a man was attempting to pass a suspicious check.
The suspect in that incident, 56-year-old Frank R. Lara, fled the scene before officers arrived but was positively identified by bank staff.
After initializing their investigation into this case, WPD also learned of a similar attempt which was made at a different branch of the same bank the day prior.
A detective was then assigned to the case, and subsequently discovered additional cases of the same activity at banks in East Wenatchee.
This forged a cooperative investigation between WPD, the East Wenatchee Police Department (EWPD) and the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), which led to the additional discovery that Lara was also suspected of mail theft and other crimes involving fraud and forgery.
On Thursday, a search warrant was served for Lara’s residence with the assistance of WPD, EWPD, CCSO, the Columbia River Drug Task Force, and the United States Postal Service Inspector.
During service of the warrant, officials reportedly found evidence of forgery, counterfeiting, mail theft and other fraud-related crimes. They also recovered a .44 Magnum revolver as well.
Lara was arrested and booked into the Chelan County Regional Justice Center pending the potential of additional charges from several jurisdictions, including by federal law enforcement officials.
Although fraud is always a serious concern, incidents of such activities tend to increase during this time of year. Local police urge all citizens to closely monitor their mail, bank statements, and credit card bills for any suspicious activity and immediately report any possible cases of fraud or theft.