Phoenix man charged with multiple felonies in check-cashing scheme

A Phoenix man faces numerous felony charges for allegedly stealing business checks from his employer and cashing them at local banks.

Michael Lee Armbruster, 50, of the 100 block of West Bolz Road, was employed as a maintenance man at the Jarvis Village senior apartments in Phoenix when the crimes occurred, Medford police Lt. Bob Hansen said.

Armbruster had access to most of the grounds, and at some point, police believe, he stole several business checks from the complex and cashed them in Medford.

"He would forge the checks and write them to himself," Hansen said.

Medford detectives caught the case when a bank grew suspicious of the string of checks Armbruster cashed in a short period of time.

"We think he was doing this from late August to around September 19," Hansen said.

Detectives say he cashed $15,000 in business checks.

In addition, police charged him with entering into an apartment on the grounds and stealing personal checks from a resident. Those checks totaled around $3,000.

Armbruster was arrested on charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree forgery, first-degree aggravated theft and eight counts of identity theft. All of the charges are felonies.

He remains lodged in the Jackson County Jail on $50,000 bail.

Hansen suggests businesses be sure to keep checks heavily secured.

"If you care about your business, you will protect yourself," Hansen said.

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