Police arrest man accused of forging checks

A Pine Bluff man was arrested Saturday after he allegedly forged the signature of a relative on several checks and cashed them.

Latrell Phipps, 32, who is on parole, allegedly got a checkbook belonging to his grandmother and forged checks on June 27, June 30 and July 3, receiving $1,813.02, Deputy Prosecutor Nicole Pugh said during a court hearing Monday for Phipps.

Detective Steve Rucker said in a probable cause affidavit that Phipps tried to cash a $3,000 check on July 3 at Bank of America and a teller called the alleged victim because the signature on the check did not match the signature the bank had on file.

Pugh said Phipps left before police arrived but left his identification card in the bank.

When he was arrested, Phipps denied writing the checks and cashing them, telling police someone had stolen his identification card.

Pugh said Phipps has an extensive criminal history dating back to 2005.

Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth set a $5,000 bond for Phipps after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge him with second-degree forgery.

Phillps was also served with a parole absconder warrant from the Arkansas Department of Community Corrections and will be held without bond on that warrant until a hearing to determine if he should be sent back to prison to serve the rest of his sentence.

The Public Defender’s Office was appointed to represent Phipps.