Mount Pleasant police say a 25-year-old Racine man tried to steal from a relative and then fled from police during a traffic stop.
Benjamin Ellison was charged Friday in Racine County Circuit Court with two felony counts of uttering a forgery and one felony count each of identity theft for financial gain and fleeing a police officer as well as one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. If convicted, he faces up to 21-1/2 years in prison and/or up to $40,500 in fines.
According to the criminal complaints against him, Ellison took checks from a relative and tried to cash them at two different Johnson Bank locations. Because the signatures on the back did not match the one the bank had on file for the customer, they alerted the customer and confiscated the checks. Ellison presented an ID at one bank, and the teller there made a copy of it to give to police.
Officers say at 12:33 p.m. on Aug. 27 Ellison was driving a car westbound on Taylor Avenue going 51 miles per hour in a 30 mph zone. When they attempted to initiate a traffic stop, Ellison fled the area, picking up speed and swerving in and out of traffic. The pursuit was terminated for safety reasons, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Police got word that Ellison was at a home on Ohio Street, so officers Thursday set up down the street and watched the residence for a while. When the defendant exited the home and got into a vehicle parked in front of the house, police initiated a traffic stop and took Ellison into custody, the complaint reads. During a search of his person and the car, officers found syringes, a burnt tip cap and cotton balls, all hallmarks of heroin use.
Ellison remains in the Racine County Jail on a total cash bond for the three cases of $4100. He will next be in court Sept. 8 for his preliminary hearings.