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Tourist Couple Charged with Writing False Checks

April 16, 2008 — A stateside couple arrested Tuesday by detectives of St. Croix's Insular Investigation Bureau have been charged with defrauding several local businesses by purchasing almost $20,000 in jewelry and other merchandise with invalid checks.
Jason "Jayson" Brooks, 30, of Norwalk, Calif., and Heather Dawn Golden, 26, of Bayou Vista, Texas, have been charged with forgery, obtaining money by false pretenses and grand larceny, among other things. Police are still looking into "the validity" of Brooks' name, according to a V.I. Police Department press release.
Between March 17 and April 7, the couple made purchases from several stores on St. Thomas and St. Croix using checks that were later determined by local banks to be counterfeit, the release says. Local merchants contacted police about the pair — whom they described as a "friendly tourist couple in their early 30s" — and shared their information with other businesses.
The couple was later apprehended by members of the Christiansted Bike Patrol Unit after being identified by Nichole John, a sales clerk at St. Croix-based Cruzan Gold, where the couple had tried to purchase more than $2,300 in jewelry.
The pair passed false checks at a number of jewelry, clothing and shoe stores, along with Cost U Less and Pueblo. The checks ranged in amount from $192.47 to $10,170.
The couple has been advised of their rights on the charges, but has been unable to post bail.
Local business owners praised police on their quick response and arrest time, the release says.
"It was a community effort — the detectives were very thorough," said Danna Brosius, owner of From the Geko. "The police are working in conjunction with the public, and the public has more confidence in the police. This empowers the people to be part of the crime-fighting effort."

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