Teen arrested for stealing thousands of dollars with forged check


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Emanuel Leon Baker III, 18, was arrested this morning and charged with simple battery, two counts of cashing a forged check, and two counts of scheming to defraud after allegedly cashing a forged check and attempting to cash a second check.

Baker reportedly told a Gainesville Police Department Detective that he was recruited by a person he didn’t know on June 29, 2022, to cash a check for $2,446.86 and that he could keep $800 if he succeeded in cashing the check. He also allegedly found a friend to go with him and cash a second check. Baker reportedly told the detective that he and the co-defendant went to the unknown person’s apartment, where that person printed off checks that said they were from the Perry Roofing Contractors account.

Baker and the 16-year-old co-defendant allegedly presented the checks and their identification cards to an employee at Tienda Mexican Market, and both checks were reportedly successfully cashed.

The next day, the two teens allegedly returned to the same store with two more checks, but this time the clerk became suspicious and told them she needed to go to her office to verify that they were real. The victim told an officer that Baker became angry and pushed her into the wall, then both teens ran out of the business and got into an SUV waiting outside. The victim followed them into the parking lot and took multiple photos. The victim also reportedly provided officers with photocopies of the teens’ identification cards.

GPD officers reportedly contacted Baker this morning at his home and wrote that he immediately began making phone calls, saying he was in trouble over cashing a check, even before the officers told him why they were contacting him. Post Miranda, he reportedly admitted cashing the check on June 29. He reportedly denied pushing the clerk but said he may have accidentally bumped into her.

Baker was previously arrested on August 28 and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor after he was found in a car with several juveniles who allegedly had stolen guns and were smoking marijuana. He was released on a signature bond, and the charge was later dropped.

Judge Kristine Van Vorst released Baker on his own recognizance with a requirement that he observe a curfew between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • Crime Pays in Alachua County. Just ask EX- Alachua County Commisioner Alford that apparently cashed all the Checks for the taxpayers and was not legally elected and in office. Is that not a Crime?

  • So the small Mexican market cashed a $2446 check?
    What kind of BS is this?
    And the judge slapped his wrist and let him go?
    What kind of BS is this?
    Where are the parents of this lost soul?
    What kind of BS is this?

    • Not uncommon for small Mexican markets to cash rather large checks. Many of their customers don’t have a bank account (obviously don’t want to tip off the INS) and also they wire a lot of that money home to (Mexico, or wherever) immediately to their poor families. Yep, I don’t like the illegal immigration, but these are hardworking folks. I’d do the same thing if I were in their shoes, that’s for sure

  • We shouldn’t be having these kinds of problems with these youths since
    the system has implemented all this equity wokeness stuff… do they got a equity czar at the jail on 39th? No more ROR…everyone should have to pay bail to get out of jail so Rodney can buy a new suit that fits.

  • The Mexican market cashes roofing worker checks routinely, because they’re usually Mexican workers who WANT to work here. Unlike these Dem voter offspring looking for more handouts from CRT-trained voters.

    • I am a Democratic voters offspring and i dont take handouts and have always had a job. This kind of behavior could happen regardless of party affiliation so please stop spreading this nonsense. And do you even know what CRT actually is? I highly doubt it. Please educate yourself by doing your own research and take several seats.

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