A man who allegedly posed as a police officer and cashed fake checks is now in custody.
A spokesperson with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation confirmed Robert Helms was arrested. Helms is in custody in Vinita, Okla., just 30 miles south of the Kansas border. He was arrested Tuesday night.Police said Helms cashed bad checks at several businesses across Kansas, Colorado and Oklahoma. He allegedly told clerks that he was a deputy with the Adams County Sheriff's Office in Kansas, but the county did not exist.
Helms is accused of scamming dozens of businesses out of money since January. Vinita Police Chief Bobby Floyd said Helms had been staying at the Western Motel in Vinita for at least a couple of days. Floyd said hotel employees told him that Helms claimed he was a police officer from out of town.
Floyd says Helms was spotted several times at the local Wal-Mart. He says Helms passed a bad check at the store and someone recognized him.
Helms is accused of using new checks from a bank, with only a routing number, and filling in the rest of the information.
"We just think this guy's a professional crook," Floyd said.
Tuesday night, two officers approached Helms as he was leaving the Wal-Mart. According to police, Helms initially claimed to be his brother David and even had an Oklahoma ID card that said so.
After more questioning, Floyd says Helms finally confessed to being the Robert Helms they were looking for, and for passing the bad check.
"It's almost as if he was relieved to be caught," Floyd said. Helms is in the Craig County jail in Oklahoma.
"I have heard so many stories about this guy from so many agents, including the KBI," Floyd said. "This thing is rampant."
Kyle Smith, KBI spokesman, said that since Helms was taken into custody in Oklahoma, that is where he will initially be charged. Because Helms has outstanding warrants in multiple counties in two other states, it could be a lengthy court process.Helms is presumed innocent until proven guilty.