Check Kiters Caught

Check Kiters Caught


In a world where Apple Pay, Zelle, and Paypal are ubiquitous and retail clerks often look
askance at shoppers proffering U.S. currency as a form of payment for purchases, the crime of
cashing a forged check seems almost anachronistic.

But apparently a pair of Santa Maria citizens aren’t exactly digital-tech savants. When 31-year-
old Richard Martinez walked into a Santa Maria bank and tried to cash a forged check, it didn’t
take the bank teller long to feel like she was in a film noir scene featuring Lana Turner and John
Garfield as crooks on the run from the law, whereupon she promptly conveyed her suspicions
to the branch manager. The manager called 911 and reported the incident while providing “a
detailed description of the suspect who fled the bank on foot just as deputies arrived.”

The immediately ensuing foot pursuit, wherein Martinez ran through a nearby discount store
and then exited “out the back door,” included the establishment of a secure search perimeter
and the assistance of both a Sheriff’s K9 Unit and the County Air Support helicopter. While the
search for Martinez was ongoing, deputies made contact with “another suspicious subject,” 31-
year-old Santa Maria resident Carolos Alonso. After a field interrogation, Alonso was
“determined to be Martinez’s accomplice” and was taken into custody.

Just an hour later, Martinez was spotted on a nearby thoroughfare and was taken into custody.

Both men were transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where they were booked on charges
of conspiracy, burglary, forgery, and fabricating a fictitious check. Martinez—with several
outstanding warrants bearing his name—is currently held without bail, while Alonso’s bail is set
at $20,000.

by Robert L. McCullough

Check Kiters Caught was last modified: November 3rd, 2022 by admin
Categories: Santa Barbara

About Author

Robert L. McCullough

Bob McCullough is a television and screen writer-producer who has worked for every major television network and film studio with more than 200 produced credits. Bob has recently co-authored “Where Hollywood Hides: Santa Barbara”, a hardcover book featuring a wide range of film, television, and music industry celebrities living on the Central Coast. His weekly iTunes podcast about “all things Hollywood” can be heard at

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