Months-long crime spree ends with arrest, police say

Months-long crime spree ends with arrest, police say
Michelle Jackson, 50, Pompano Beach, FL Financial identity fraud (4/22) (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -It took eight months, but Jonesboro detectives finally caught up with a woman accused of forging thousands of dollars’ worth of stolen checks and leading officers on a high-speed chase.

Michelle Lea Jackson, 50, of Pompano Beach, FL is being held at the Craighead County Detention Center on a $45,000 cash/surety bond on a laundry list of charges including financial identity fraud and engaging in a continuing criminal gang, organization or enterprise.

The case began last Aug. 21 when police say Jackson and another named suspect broke into three vehicles at a local day care during business hours and stole several purses, along with IDs and check books.

Investigators say Jackson and the other suspect then traveled to multiple banks in Jonesboro and across the state, cashing the checks.

Within days, according to the affidavit, the suspects had written and cashed more than $11,000 worth of forged checks.

On Sept. 18, Detective Brian Arnold received a phone call that Jackson and the other suspect were at Focus Bank on Red Wolf in a black SUV attempting to cash a $2,160 check belonging to a victim from Searcy, the affidavit said.

When Arnold attempted to initiate a traffic stop, according to the court documents, Jackson sped off at a high rate of speed.

She traveled onto Highland Drive, “swerving in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed” before turning south onto Harrisburg Road and losing the officers.

The SUV was later found near the Parker Road Walmart. The vehicle then headed toward Southwest Drive where it turned right and sped off.

On Monday, April 22, police finally caught up with Jackson and arrested her. The affidavit did not provide details into how she was captured.

She appeared that afternoon before Craighead County District Judge Tommy Fowler who found probable cause to charge her with the following:

  • Financial identity fraud, a Class C felony
  • Second-degree forgery, a Class C felony
  • Engaging in a continuing criminal gang, organization or enterprise, a Class B felony
  • Fleeing, a Class D felony
  • Theft greater than $5,000 but less than $25,000, a Class C felony
  • Theft by receiving $1,000 or less, a Class A misdemeanor
  • Reckless driving, a Class B misdemeanor

Jackson is currently being held on a $45,000 cash/surety bond awaiting her first appearance in circuit court on May 31.

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