MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County Grand Jury indicted five Monday on theft-related charges. The charges concerned incidents dating back to February.
Andrew Cook, 40, Mount Vernon, was indicted for robbery, a second-degree felony, assault, a first-degree misdemeanor, and petty theft, a first-degree misdemeanor.
Cook allegedly approached the victim with whom he was an acquaintance and hit her with a flashlight before taking a bag of clothing from her July 8, according to Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Nicole Derr.
Derr said that an anonymous caller reported the incident to 911 and law enforcement was able to make contact with the victim on scene.
All three charges arose out of the same incident. The assault and petty theft were elements of the robbery, which is an act of theft through assault, according to Derr.
In another case, Franki Strouse, 20, Fredericktown, faces four counts of forgery, fifth-degree felonies for allegedly forging four checks totaling the amount of $1,525.
Strouse, along with 30-year-old Bryan Pruitt, Mount Vernon, allegedly stole checks from their friend’s mother in late-April. Strouse then reportedly used the stolen checks several days in a row in late May, according to the indictment.
The victim noticed her missing checks being used and contacted the bank and law enforcement, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Christine Williams said.
Pruitt was indicted for two counts of theft, fifth-degree felonies, for allegedly stealing miscellaneous items and a credit card from the victim.
Pruitt’s charges are dated April 22, the day the theft allegedly occurred, while Strouse’s charges are dated in May on the days when the checks were used.
Forgery involves the defendant imitating the writing of another with the intention to defraud or facilitate a fraud.
Meanwhile, Douglas Rine, 80, Mount Vernon, was indicted for theft, a fifth-degree felony, and passing bad checks, a fifth-degree felony. The charges relate to a Feb. 24 incident.
Although both involve fraud, passing bad checks, unlike forgery, involves the defendant’s own checks that they write out knowing the checks will be dishonored — due to insufficient funds or nonexistent accounts.
To convict someone of passing bad checks, prosecutors will have to prove that the defendant knew the checks would be invalid, according to Williams.
In another case, James Lavender, 28, Springfield, was indicted for theft, a fifth-degree felony, and breaking and entering, a fifth-degree felony. The charges stem from a July 5 incident in which Lavender allegedly went into an open garage and took a leaf blower and a chain saw without the owner’s permission, according to Williams.
Other indictments issued by the Monday grand jury were: David Cross II, 33, Mount Vernon, obstructing official business, a second-degree misdemeanor, resisting arrest, a second-degree misdemeanor, receiving stolen property, a fifth-degree felony, and forgery, a fifth-degree felony; Rick Black, 30, Mount Vernon, aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, and possessing drug abuse instruments, a second-degree misdemeanor; Anna Taylor, 28, Centerburg, possession of heroin, a fifth-degree felony, and possessing drug abuse instruments, a second-degree misdemeanor; Jade Burkett, 20, Mount Vernon, aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony; Joshua Jacobs, 36, Mount Vernon, aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, and possessing drug abuse instruments, a second-degree misdemeanor; Joshua Beeman, 29, Mount Vernon, domestic violence, a third-degree felony; Craig Carson, 43, Mount Vernon, operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a fourth-degree felony.
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