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Buena Park : Bogus Traveler’s Check Passer Is Being Sought

Authorities are seeking a 44-year-old man suspected of using phony identifications, glue, erasers and a rubber stamp set to alter traveler’s checks and swindle merchants in Buena Park, Anaheim and Los Angeles and Riverside counties, a Buena Park police spokesman said.

The suspect, Merle Timothy Anderson, address unknown, is alleged to have swindled florists and drug, liquor, grocery and department stores of about $50,000 during the past six months, Police Officer Terry Branum said.

Anderson allegedly has been buying traveler’s checks from several banks in $10 denominations, Branum said. The suspect then glues $100 denominations to the corners and uses a red stamp pad reading “one hundred dollars” to inscribe the checks, Branum said.

“He purchases about $20 worth of items and walks out with $80 cash,” Branum said.

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His aliases include Joe Cobb, Timothy Welch and Joe Richard Cobb, among 20 or so names, Police Sgt. Chris Bentley said, adding: “Every time he passes one (bad check) he uses a different name.” He also has been known to use fictitious identifications showing that he is a resident of California, Georgia, Iowa and Delaware, Branum said.

He allegedly buys the checks from several banks, although he recently has been passing Citicorp cashier’s checks, Branum said.


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