Suspect in fraud scams may be in area

Friday, December 28, 2001

A man wanted by the federal government as well as police and sheriffs' departments in numerous states may have been in the Cape Girardeau area.

Carl Edward Fuerst has been scamming his way across the country, said police.

A CrimeStoppers report from the Cape Girardeau Police Department said Fuerst is a known white supremacist and should be considered armed and dangerous. The report lists his last known residence in the Cape Girardeau area.

Detectives say Fuerst has spent a lot of time in Southeast Missouri and Arkansas but couldn't pinpoint his Cape Girardeau connection.

Police said Fuerst's method of operation is to steal checks, sometimes from mailboxes, then use the information printed on the checks to make phony withdrawals from local banks.

He has been caught on department store videotape purchasing large quantities of camping fuel and ammunition but so far has managed to stay one step ahead of the law.

He's wanted by various agencies for probation violation, mail theft, fraud and check forgery.

"He's got it down to a science," said Detective Kyle Hamline with the Liberty, Mo., Police Department. "He can hit four banks in the space of 20 minutes and then disappear."

Fuerst is suspected of fraud and forgery in a December 2000 scam involving several banks in Liberty and nearby Smithville, Mo.

Investigators suspect Fuerst stays in campgrounds instead of hotels or rental properties in order to maintain a low profile.

Fuerst is wanted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the FBI and U.S. Marshal Service. Police departments in Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Indiana are also on the lookout.

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