By KAREN VELIE
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies arrested two Santa Maria men after they allegedly attempted to cash a forged check at an Orcutt bank on Tuesday, which prompted a chase and search for one of the suspects.
Shortly before 3 p.m., employees at a bank in the 1100 block of E. Clark Avenue called the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s dispatch and reported a suspect attempting to cash a forged check. The bank employees provided a great amount of detail about the suspect to the dispatcher while deputies responded to the area, according to the sheriff’s office.
The suspect, 31-year-old Richard Martinez, fled the bank on foot as deputies arrived. Deputies chased Martinez, who entered a nearby discount store, then went out the back door.
With help from several CHP officers, deputies set up a perimeter. As authorities searched for Martinez, they contacted a suspicious person in the area, 31-year-old Carlos Alonso. Investigators later determined Alonso was Martinez’s accomplice.
Deputies searched for Martinez for about an hour with assistance from Santa Barbara County Air Support and a sheriff’s K-9 unit. Deputies then located Martinez in the 900 block of Patterson Road and arrested him.
Authorities booked both Martinez and Alonso in Santa Barbara County’s Northern Branch Jail on felony charges of conspiracy, burglary, forgery and making a fictitious check. Alonso’s bail was set at $20,000. Martinez is being held without bail due to having several outstanding warrants.