Bank Tellers Spoil String of Thefts

January 19, 2005--Posted at 5:50 p.m. CDT

Region 8--An arrest in an attempted forgery at a Jonesboro bank helps authorities cuff others suspected of crimes in Greene County. The Paragould area has seen a string of car break-ins over the last couple of days but police there think they have found the men responsible for the break-ins. Everyone wants a bank that is going to protect their account.

"We want to safeguard our customers assests and we want them to be safe," said Chuck Palmer Vice President of Marketing for the First National Bank.

That's exactly what tellers at the First National Bank did Wednesday afternoon when Spencer Keyser came in to cash a $500 check and the tellers felt something just wasn't right with these checks. The checks were stolen, but these checks didn't belong to just anybody.

"We were told then that those checks belonged to Donald Guinn, president of First National Bank of Paragould," said Jonesboro Police Detective Mike Branscum.

The suspects entered the Hilltop bank branch Wednesday afternoon and tried to cash a check but when they realized the well trained employees were onto them they quickly bolted for the door.

"This person got nervous, ran out of the bank to a vehicle that was parked at the Jr. Foods parking lot, they went northbound on Highway 351 and officers stopped them at city limits," said Branscum.
Police arrested 21 year old Keyser, 20 year old Steven Manasco, 31 year old Paul Sisco and another passenger all from Paragould . After comparing notes with detectives in Paragould police determined Manasco and Sisco were behind a string of crimes there.

"They were able to link some information that we had, the stolen checks, to some breaking and enterings that they had the night before," said Branscum.

Paragould police believe Manasco and Sisco are responsible for 30 to 40 car break-ins in the area. Spencer Keyser also allegedly passed several stolen checks in both Jonesboro and Paragould but all of that was brought to a halt by the tellers at First National Bank.

"We are proud of the tellers and the training they had to prepare them for that and they did a good job," said Palmer.

Paul Sisco and Steven Manasco are being charged with attempt of residential burglary, several counts of breaking and entering and theft. While Spencer Keyser is being charged with several counts of forgery.