05 23 2015

Van Police Officers Crack Forgery Case

By Britne Reeves
Staff Writer
Van Police Department was on the hunt for a person suspected to be writing forged, fictitious checks in and around Van.
Tim Scharfenberg, Van Police Department Investigator, explains how Van police officers cracked the case.
“Van Police Department received a call from Brookshire’s Regional Loss Prevention Manager Kenneth Reynolds, a few months ago about numerous checks being written and forged by a person. There was one check written in Van that was forged by this person, which prompted the call to Van Police Department,” Scharfenberg remarked. “We dug-up some information and realized that there was a substantial amount of checks being written all over East Texas by this person. We started gathering information and locked onto a subject by the name of David Ferem, who is from the Houston area, and who was responsible for writing factitious checks.”
Once identified, Van Police Department started trying to locate Ferem.
“We contacted numerous other agencies to see if checks were written by Mr. Ferem. We still have people calling in today reporting fictitious checks written by Mr. Ferem,” Investigator Scharfenberg said.
“We obtained information that Mr. Ferem was living in the Van area, and set off en route to a certain location. Mr. Feren was taken down at a felony traffic stop,” Scharfenberg remarked.
Ferem is wanted by Pardons and Paroles for two felony warrants that were served on Aug. 14.
He was transported to the Van Police Department for book-in and is currently in custody at the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office where he was arraigned on the aforementioned charges.
Van Police Chief Tony Richardson voiced his concern using of reserve officers in Van.
“In all of my time as a police officer I have never seen a viable, dependable reserve force. The same certificate does not necessarily mean the same education,” Richardson said. “I do not like the idea of reserve officers coming from different towns or counties to work in Van, when they know nothing of Van. Reserve officers work full-time jobs elsewhere, and they are not dependable enough to ask them to come work a 10-hour shift in Van after their normal job. If I had an experienced, retired officer who wanted to be a reserve, then that would be wonderful. Most of the guys on reserve have no experience, and I just don’t want to trust them with the safety of Van citizens,” he said. Police reserves are not regulated by the state.
Last week the council came to a decision to look for reserve officers, but only if they are from Van.
Richardson also reminds citizens that with school starting, the crackdown on cell phone usage in school zones will commence.
“We will be watching for speeding and drivers using their cell phones in the school zones, we want the children to be safe and this is just one way we can ensure safety,” he said.
Van Police Department is also on the lookout for K2 users and suppliers. The synthetic form of marijuana is commonly referred to as “fake weed.”
K2 has been sold since 2006 as incense or potpourri for about $30 to $40 for a three-gram bag. It may be a mix of herbal and spice plant products, but it is sprayed with a drug that causes hallucinations, agitation and vomiting.
The Van Police Department has already made some arrests in last couple of weeks in conjunction with K2 use.
Richardson said K2 is on the rise in teenagers and young adults.
“We want to keep K2 out of Van. We want to make sure that we are keeping our community safe and that means cracking down on suppliers and users,” said Richardson.

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