Ithaca man charged with forging checks in Cortland

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An Ithaca man faces charges related to several recent crimes involving fraudulent checks in the city of Cortland.

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On Saturday (September 5) just before 9:30 pm, police were called to the Gable Inn for a man that was there reportedly attempting to pass a forged check.

The suspect was 29-year-old Patrick F. Booker, of West Seneca Street in Ithaca, who had tried cashing a fraudulent check for $544.22 at The Gable. He was asked to step outside and speak with an officer but took off running instead.

Booker was ultimately caught up to and apprehended in the Port Watson Street parking lot near the back of the NBT bank.

He was charged with Possession of a forged instrument 2nd (F), Obstruction of governmental administration (M) and Resisting arrest (M).

Further investigation revealed that Booker and another man, 30-year-old Clayton S. Lawson of Rickard Street  in Cortland, had been in the Gable on September 3, where both men had cashed forged checks on that date as well.

One of the checks was for 344.22 and the other was for $544.22.

These checks weren’t discovered to be fake until after the suspects had left, however both presented their actual New York State IDs as proof of their identity when cashing the checks.

For that incident, Booker was additionally charged with Possession of a forged instrument 2nd (F) and Petit Larceny (M).

Lawson is still being sought by police.

While being processed on the charges above, a sharp-eyed City officer recognized Booker from a case that he had been working since August 28.

In that case, a man had been captured on bank surveillance tape as he removed $450.00 cash from a bank drive-thru tube after the customer before him had withdrawn the money and then driven away, forgetting the cash.

For that incident, Booker was additionally charged with Petit Larceny (M).

He was released to appear in City Court today at 1:30 pm.

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