Midland man arrested for cashing fraudulent checks

A 33-year-old Midland man was arrested Tuesday after being locked inside a convenience store by employees who accused him of cashing multiple fraudulent checks for thousands of dollars.

According to an Odessa Police Department report, employees at N-N-Out on West 10th Street hit a panic alarm button shortly after noon Tuesday and when officers arrived, they discovered employees had locked Daniel Cortez inside the store.

The owner of the convenience store told officers he discovered on Sept. 3 that two checks Cortez had cashed at the store earlier in the week had been written on a closed account for Nathan’s Oil Field Services. He placed a note on the cash register telling his employees not to cash anymore of Cortez’s checks, the report stated.

On Tuesday, one of the store’s clerks cashed a check for $2,750 for Cortez from Nathan’s Oil Field Services and then saw the note, according to the report. When Cortez came back moments later with another check from the same company for $2,457, the employees locked Cortez inside and hit the panic button.

Cortez initially told police he’d suffered an injury while working for Nathan’s Oil Field Services and they offered him $20,000 so he wouldn’t sue them, according to the report. He later changed his story and said he got the checks from a woman who had a book filled with fraudulent checks and they’d been cashing them in Midland and Odessa.

Cortez was arrested on suspicion of forgery financial institution $750-$2,500 and forgery financial institution $2,500-$30,000. The first charge is a Class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of one year in jail. The latter charge is a state jail felony punishable by six months to two years in prison.

Cortez was released from the Ector County jail Thursday after posting surety bonds totaling $6,000.