RICHMOND – A Hazard man was arrested this past weekend and accused of passing a phony check to pay for an all-terrain vehicle in Madison County, while police later discovered he was also wanted for numerous other crimes in Kentucky and other states.
Troopers with the Kentucky State Police arrested 37-year-old William Dale Steele after an employee at Honda of Richmond reported that a male had entered the dealership on Sept. 21, writing a check for more than $7,000 in exchange for a Honda Foreman ATV. The check, as it turned out, was fraudulent, according a press release from the Kentucky State Police.
Troopers later located Steele’s vehicle on the Mountain Parkway in Powell County. He was placed into custody and charged with theft by unlawful taking over $500. Police said the ATV reported stolen from the Honda dealership was also recovered.
While in custody at the Madison County Detention Center, Steele was served with an additional 26 warrants from multiple states, and it appears he can add another warrant from Ohio to the list.
Courtney Chumbley works at Cincy Custom Carts in Cincinnati, where she alleges Steele wrote a fraudulent check for $4,686 on July 24 while purchasing a golf cart. She said Steele presented her with a story about taking his family on vacation, and was ready to leave with them the next day.
“I found him the perfect golf cart, he wrote me a check for it,” Chumbley said. “He seemed like the nicest guy. Well, of course, that’s his tactic, that’s what he uses.”
Steele left the dealership with the cart that day, and it was 10 days later when the business received a call from the bank reporting that the check was no good.
Chumbley said she spent the day attempting to contact Steele, but he never answered her calls. She added she was able to get a family member to call him from a 606 area code in Kentucky, and while he didn’t answer, he immediately called Chumbley in Ohio, claiming it was a mix up with the bank and his funds were never transferred into his checking account.
Chumbley said it was the last she heard from him.
“We sent the check through once, it came back as insufficient funds,” she said. “Second time we sent it through he had closed the account.”
She then began the process of obtaining an arrest warrant for the alleged theft, which she said a detective in Cincinnati told her would be issued on Wednesday.
According to the Madison County Detention Center’s website, Steele was booked on a bevy of warrants, including 19 alleging theft by deception.