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Police: suspects in forgery case stole $11k, sports drinks

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POTSDAM — Police have charged three men in connection with the alleged theft of more than $11,000 — and two sports drinks — from a Potsdam business in June.

Joseph A. Rousaw, 39, Massena, Andrew K. Garrow, 27, Norwood, and St. Lawrence County jail inmate Shawn L. McGregor, 36, formerly of Norfolk, were arrested Monday following an investigation by Potsdam village police and the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department.

According to court documents, the trio entered the back door of Backstreets Nightclub, 31 Market St., on June 18 and stole payroll checks, as well as two Powerade drinks that were valued at $4.

The men are accused of cashing the stolen documents, belonging to two businesses, at banks throughout St. Lawrence County.

Backstreets owner Steven J. Bond reported as stolen 10 checks belonging to Steven Bond Properties and five belonging to Backstreets. Investigators said the Steven Bond checks were forged and cashed for a total of $8,714, while the Backstreets checks were forged and cashed for $2,288.98.

Bank records subpoenaed as part of the investigation suggest that the suspects worked quickly. The five Backstreets checks were cashed on June 18, 19, 20 and 22, records show.

On June 21, four Steven Bond checks made out to Mr. Rousaw and totaling $3,494 were cashed at Community Bank branches in Potsdam and Massena and at two Ogdensburg locations from 10:51 a.m. to 2:49 p.m., each with a memo note reading “labor,” bank records showed.

The following day, six Steven Bond checks made out to Mr. Rousaw were cashed for a total of $5,220 from 11:46 a.m. to 3:01 p.m. at branches in Madrid, Potsdam, Heuvelton, Canton and Massena.

The largest single amount among the alleged forgeries, a $1,275 Backstreets check made out to Mr. Rousaw and cashed June 19, was the subject of a forgery claim reported to NBT Bank by Mr. Bond.

In a notarized affidavit provided to the bank June 25, Mr. Bond said that he did not know who forged the check, but wrote that “Shawn McGregor is on camera taking checks.”

Mr. Bond said he had employed Mr. McGregor to do odd jobs on his properties, but he did not know the other men.

According to Times archives, Mr. McGregor was previously arrested in connection with three other bad-check cases, in October, November and December. Those arrests constituted alleged parole violations in the wake of a 2007 burglary conviction.

Each of the suspects in the Backstreets case was charged with third-degree grand larceny and third-degree burglary.

Mr. Rousaw was sent to St. Lawrence County jail, Canton, without bail. Mr. Garrow was released to the supervision of probation.

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