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Man charged in forged check scheme

Eric Watkins, 25, of Garibaldi Street in Stratford, was charged on a warrant Monday with second-degree forgery and third-degree larceny.

According to police, Watkins opened a bank account at Patriot National Bank, 1755 Black Rock Turnpike, in April with a $20 deposit. For several months, there was no activity in the account until in June he deposited, via the ATM machine, a $2,500 check from a Bank of America account, police said. He then made numerous withdrawals, again via an ATM. Another Bank of American check deposit, this time for $4,000 was made through the Patriot Bank ATM, and $2,500 withdrawn, police said.

It was discovered the checks were forged and belonged to a Westport resident, who told police she had ordered new checks but never received them. She said she did not know Watkins, according to the report.

He was seen making the ATM transactions on the bank's surveillance video, police said.

Watkins was turned over to Fairfield police by Bridgeport officers, who discovered the arrest warrant during a motor vehicle stop in that city.

He was released on a $250 bond and is scheduled to appear Dec. 30 in Bridgeport Superior Court.

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