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Poland police: Suspects involved in fraudulent check-cashing spree

The four men were arrested at PNC Bank in Poland Twp., where police say one of the men tried to cash a forged check

POLAND TWP., Ohio (WKBN) - Four suspects were arrested Thursday at a bank in Poland Township, accused of cashing forged checks at Ohio and Pennsylvania banks.

Mario Vega, 24, is charged with obstructing official business, complicity, identity fraud, possessing criminal tools, forgery and money laundering.

Grantley Lawrence, 23, Lamone Lawrence, 29, and Juzan Spence, 22, are each charged with complicity.

Poland Township Police Chief Brian Goodin said PNC Bank was notified about suspects who had stolen the identity of customers and were cashing checks using their information. The suspects then showed up at the PNC Bank on US-224, where Vega tried to cash a check, Goodin said.

Police were immediately called to the scene, where the four were taken into custody.

Vega is from Arizona while the other three have addresses in Bronx, New York.

Goodin said police locally are working with PNC Bank to identify other victims and crimes that may have been committed by the group. So far, they're believed to have stolen the identity of victims in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

"This was a pretty organized group for people that are only in their 20s," he said.

They're scheduled to appear in Struthers Municipal Court on Friday morning.

Goodin recommended that people check their bank accounts regularly to make sure they aren't being victimized by an identity thief.

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