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Police recover stolen refund checks
PottsASK 0965a
Manteca detective Steve Harris looks through fictitious checks and copying and printing equipment found Tuesday in the residence of a wanted parolee. - photo by GLENN KAHL
Three parolees-at-large, one suspect wanted for a grand theft warrant and two who were cited on traffic warrants, were like falling dominoes coming out of a single call to officers around noon Tuesday.

It all began when Manteca Police Detective Steve Harris got word that parolee-at-large, Timothy Potts, 36, was seen walking along Northgate Drive.  Harris said he knew that officer Armen Avakian had also been looking for Potts on a check fraud case.

Harris said he aired the info he had on Potts to other police units, with Avakian moving into the area.   He spotted the wanted parolee running into a house in the 1600 block of Kingwood Avenue.  Officers surrounded the residence seeing another parolee, Scott Lee Goss, 38, run out the back and into the arms of waiting officers who took him into custody.

Street crimes unit officers arrived on the scene, Harris said, and conducted a search of the house and arrested Potts hiding in the garage.  In a continued search they located Christopher Elliott, 22, of Manteca who had an outstanding grand theft warrant for possession of stolen property out for his arrest.

Also found in the residence were Steven Alexander, 21, and Juvenal Alcazar, 24. Both were given citations for outstanding traffic warrants.

After clearing the residence on Kingwood, officers went to the home where Potts had been staying in the 600 block of Pebble Way and conducted a parole search the home and of his room where they located another parolee-at-large.

Philip Hernandez, 43, was found hiding in the residence after he had failed to answer. He was taken to San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp where they are all being held without bail.

Detective Harris said that in searching Potts’ room officers found hundreds of documents and numerous checks in amounts as much as $5,400 from a manufacturing company in the state of Washington to a law office in San Francisco.  State of California refund checks in addition to those belonging to individuals and businesses in the Manteca area were also located.

Potts was charged with three additional felonies: burglary, forgery, and receiving known stolen property valued at more than $200.  He is scheduled to appear in the Manteca Branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court on Nov. 29 at 1:30 p.m.

Harris noted that crimes of violence have caused financial crime in Manteca to take a back seat in their investigations.