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Man Suspected of Using Fraudulent Check to Purchase Vehicle 2019

Las Cruces police arrested a man suspected of purchasing a used vehicle with a check from a nonexistent account.

Kenneth Michael Harper, 44, of the 2200 block of Dona Ana Road, is charged with a third-degree felony count of forgery.

Investigators learned that on March 22, 2019, Harper went to a local used car dealership and provided a $3,900 check to purchase a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer. Harper left the dealership with the Trailblazer and a temporary tag for the vehicle.

In the days following the transaction, the dealership learned that Harper’s $3,900 check was fraudulent and drawn on a nonexistent checking account. The dealership contacted police and reported the vehicle as stolen or embezzled.

On April 8, a Las Cruces police officer pulled traffic on the stolen Chevy Trailblazer on the 600 block of west Picacho Avenue. Harper was driving the vehicle. Investigators learned Harper was in possession of a debit card that was also fraudulent and from a nonexistent bank account.

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible.

Harper was arrested April 8 and booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center. He was released on bond the following day.