A Thorndike man is facing a pile of charges in connection with a series of stolen and/or bad checks that police say he used to obtain cigarettes and cash at several local stores.

Friday, Oct. 28, police charged Ishmael Berry, 29, with possession of stolen property, theft, falsifying physical evidence and five counts of forgery. Berry was also charged with operating an unregistered motor vehicle and operating after suspension.

According to Lt. Jason Trundy with the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office, Berry came to the attention of law enforcement after police received a complaint from John Wentworth, owner of J.P. Wentworth General Store in Brooks.

“What happened was Ishmael [Berry] went to J.P. Wentworth and tried to cash a check there for two packs of cigarettes and $50 cash back,” said Trundy.

Trundy said the clerk recognized Berry’s name on the check and immediately refused to accept it. That, Trundy said, was because the Wentworth stores in Brooks and in Northport had both received several bad check from Berry in the recent past. The clerk then called John Wentworth down to the register.

“The owner came down and confronted [Berry], and held him there until police got there,” Trundy said.

When police arrived, Trundy said, the officers examined the check that Berry had tried to cash at the store and noted that they were from an account that belonged to a married couple who reside on Waterville Road in Waldo.

Trundy said when police asked Berry if he had permission to use the checks, he said he did.

But a phone call to the couple quickly confirmed that Berry was not being truthful, Trundy said.

The couple whose name was on the account told police that Berry had been at their home visiting relatives earlier in the day. One of their checkbooks had gone missing, Trundy said, but the couple assumed that it had been misplaced rather than stolen.

“It turned out [Berry] took the checks without permission,” Trundy said.

Trundy said it appeared that over time, Berry was using either his own bad checks or the checks he allegedly stole from the Waldo couple to obtain cigarettes and cash.

“It just finally came to their attention,” said Trundy of the store employees and business owner.

Berry is scheduled to appear at Fifth District Court in Belfast Tuesday, Dec. 20.