by: Mike Petchenik Updated:
ROSWELL, Ga. - A nationwide search for a suspected
identity thief has ended in Roswell after police said they arrested the man while he was trying to pass bad checks at an area bank.
William LaFlower, 44, is in the Fulton County jail facing several charges stemming from his arrest at a Chase Bank branch on Woodstock Road earlier this week.
Police told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik bank employees knew LaFlower's face before he even stepped foot in the door because Chase Bank had been circulating a picture of the New York man.
"He was trying to pass two forged checks almost in the amount of $5,000," said Officer Lisa Holland with the Roswell Police Department.
Holland said employees immediately called 911, and when an officer arrived, he approached LaFlower as he exited the bank.
"The guy resisted," said Holland. "He kept trying to grab the officer's gun several times and the officer was able to take him into custody."
According to an arrest report, LaFlower told the arresting officer that six members of the "mafia" were in a nearby car watching the arrest and that police should just let him go.
After his arrest, Holland said investigators learned that detectives in Kentucky, Tennessee and New Jersey were all looking for LaFlower for similar crimes.
In all, Holland said police believe LaFlower has defrauded banks out of nearly $300,000.
The police report indicates police found personal information of potential victims in LaFlower's car.
"They could be stealing checks out of mailboxes, they could be entering autos, taking checks left in cars, houses burglaries," said Holland of the typical check forgery suspect. "Hard to say where he's getting all this stuff."
Petchenik discovered LaFlower has convictions out of New York on larceny and assault charges. He's being held in the Fulton County jail without bond.