Region digest 05/17/03

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Arrest warrant issued for alleged scam artist

An arrest warrant was issued Friday for a Perryville, Mo., man who Cape Girardeau police say scammed a handful of businesses out of small amounts of cash by posing as a visiting fellow professional or a close relative of the business' former owner.

On Thursday, police warned businesses about a man asking for quick loans. Investigators are now asking for the public's help in finding Terry Lee Zoellner, 38.

After victims chose Zoellner's face out of a photo lineup, he was charged Friday with three misdemeanors for stealing by deceit.

Anyone with information about Zoellner's whereabouts is asked to call Cape Girardeau Crime Stoppers at 332-0500.

Charges filed in burning of Sikeston store

The cashing of checks stolen from a burned down Sikeston, Mo., furniture store has led to the arrest of a 17-year-old.

Mike T. Tatum of Sikeston was arrested Thursday and charged Friday with burglary, arson, two counts of stealing, property damage, disposing of stolen property and four counts of forgery, said Sikeston public safety director Drew Juden.

Last week's fire at Glenn's Furniture was ruled suspicious when the checks were discovered being cashed. After Tatum was identified as cashing the checks, police found more items from the store in his home.

Tatum is in custody on $150,000 bond.

-- From staff reports

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