NBCPhiladelphia.com - Rosemary Connors, Bruce Ryan
Police say a group of men dressed in women's clothes have cashed thousands of dollars worth of bogus checks at a Northeast Philadelphia grocery store. It all lead to an accident on Tuesday that sent a Philadelphia Police Officer to the hospital.
Employees at a grocery store in the Rhawnhurst section of Philadelphia called police on Tuesday Afternoon after a male dressed as a woman tried to cash what appeared to be a fake check.
"He had a purse. He had a shirt with a flower. He had a wig. But you could tell in his face -- the roughness of everything -- that he was a man," said Adairis Romero, an employee at Meat Shoppers Plus.
The grocery store on the 6600 block of Castor Avenue was on alert for four cross-dressing men who have come into the shop three or four times in the past two weeks, cashing more $20,000 worth of bad checks, according to employees.
Store workers called police Tuesday afternoon when one of the suspects walked in with what looked like a bogus check.
"It was very suspicious. Their IDs were from New Jersey, New York and not from Philadelphia," said Romero.
When the suspect tried to reach for his ID, Luis Ordonez, one of the store owners, said he cornered the suspect with the help of his son and was able to take him down by the time police arrived.
"The only thing we had to do is just get them down and just knock them down and that's it," explained Ordonez.
While police arrested the suspect, a female officer crashed into a parked car and fence while chasing a potential getaway car. She was taken to the hospital after complaining of leg pain, according to Philadelphia Police.
The alleged getaway car drove off.
Employees are warning other businesses to be aware of the scam.
"I just want to warn a lot of businesses out there to be careful when you look at the checks," said Romero. "Make sure it has the name of the bank in it -- if you scan it and it's denied, don't cash it."
If you have any information about the incident please contact Philadelphia Police at (215) 686-3280.
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