Fake trooper strikes again in check cashing scheme

This image was taken at the 501 Mini Mart on February 27th.

Horry County police say a man who tried to cash a fake check February 27th, while impersonating a South Carolina highway patrol officer, managed to successfully cash two fake checks the next day.

Horry County police say the man tried to cash a fake state police payroll check on February 27th at the 501 Mini Mart near Conway. When an employee asked him for identification, police say the man pulled out a South Carolina Highway Patrol ID that said his name was Jesse D. Smith and he had served since 2007.

They say the suspect claimed he just transferred to the area and was given paper checks until his direct deposit kicked in. The clerk refused to cash the check and called police. Police verified with Highway Patrol that no such trooper existed.

The suspect got into a cream colored Ford Crown Victoria with paper tags and left the store. He was accompanied by a woman with blonde hair. The suspect was described as 25 to 35, approximately six feet tall, weighing around 195 pounds, with brown hair and a moustache.

Horry County police have now learned the following day, February 28th, a man matching the same description managed to cash two fake checks.

Horry County police say the man cashed one check at Allsbrook Grocery Store in the Loris area. The check was again made out to Jesse Smith, but was from Grand Strand Regional Medical Center. The man told the clerk he was working there as a part-time security guard but worked full-time for South Carolina Highway Patrol. Police say he was also successful cashing an additional check from Grand Strand Regional Medical Center on the same day at Mt. Vernon Grocery. In that cas,e they say he claimed to be a Narcotics Officer with South Carolina Law Enforcement.

Both checks were later deemed to be fraudulent.

The surveillance pictures are from the first incident at the 501 Mini Mart. They are followed by surveillance pictures of the man and his car at the second incident at Allsbrook Grocery. Detectives believe it is the same suspect, just clean shaven in the second incident.

If you have any information leading to the identity of the suspect, you are asked to contact the Horry County Police Department at (843) 915-TIPS.