SEVIERVILLE (WATE) - Alert store employees in Sevier County outlet malls helped police arrest suspects Saturday who allegedly tried to use counterfeit gift checks to buy items.
Police arrested Alexandria Jackson, 19, of Riverdale, Ga.; T'varis Alexander, 23, of Atlanta, Ga.; and Frank Green, 28, of Sacramento, Calif.
Each of the suspects faces several counts of criminal simulation, a legal term for counterfeiting. Green is also charged with one count of simple possession of marijuana.
Officers were first alerted to a counterfeit attempt when an employee at Hart Strings in Five Oaks Mall reported a female had used a phony $100 American Express gift check.
Police issued a Mall Watch Alert telling other merchants to be on the lookout for counterfeit checks.
After seeing the notification an employee at the Tommy Hilfiger store in Pigeon Forge reported a female had attempted to use a similar check on Friday.
Later on Saturday an employee of the American Eagle store in Five Oaks Mall called police saying someone matching the description of one of the suspects was in the store.
Two officers arrived in time to arrest Jackson. Alexander and Green were arrested as they got into a vehicle matching a description provided by a store employee.
Sevierville police credit store employees and the department's notification program for assisting in the arrests.
Police say the suspects may have used counterfeit checks at other area stores and ask anyone with information to contact their local law enforcement agency.
1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville, Tennessee 37917