Police arrested Alexis Slaten, 34, at about 2:20 p.m. Wednesday after employees at a Safeway store determined that a $100 bank check she wrote to buy gift cards and groceries was phony, police Lt. John Wilson said.
"One cashier looked at it and thought it was suspicious," Wilson said. "When we got there they found out it was not real."
Store employees, who delayed Slaten at the store so that police could arrive, went through the store's tills and found two other fake $100 checks passed by other suspects, Wilson said.
"They cashed the other two," Wilson said.
Police believe that the missing suspects in the alleged ring, Retascha Harrison, 28, and Lawrence Stone, 33, both of Oakland, passed the bogus checks at the market between about 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. that day, Wilson said.
Managers of the store, at 253 Mt. Hermon Road, viewed surveillance video that allegedly showed Harrison passing one of the checks, Wilson said.
The ring members likely fashioned the checks using a computer, software and a printer, Wilson said.
"You can print out business cards, you can print out checks," Wilson said.
"They basically made a fake check from routing numbers and the banks say there is no account on file," Wilson said.
Slaten was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail on suspicion of forgery and passing a fictitious check and her bail was set at $50,000, Wilson said.