The policy of the Ames Police Department is to accept insufficient fund checks or account closed checks for criminal investigation as follows:
1. The amount of the check must be in excess of $200.
2. The check must have been written in the City of Ames. It must have been written within the past 60 days. It cannot be a government check, two-party check, or a check for which a stop payment has been issued. The only exception to these requirements would be if the prosecuting attorney deems it a criminal theft rather than a civil action. It must have been written personally by the owner of the check.
3. The merchant or person who accepted the check must have checked the identification of the individual who was authoring the check and have documented that it is in fact the owner of the check by recording the driver's license number, and date of birth on the back of the check. The only exception would be if the person accepting the check has personal knowledge of the author. This should be indicated on the check and the person accepting the check must initial it.
4. The person who accepted the check must have also marked the check in some manner so as to identify that they in fact accepted this check and be available to testify to that process.
5. In accordance with Iowa Code 714.1(6), the check must have been submitted to the bank twice and marked "NSF" as such. The merchant or the person who accepted the check, upon return of the check for the second time, must then send a 10-day letter of payment demand by certified mail, restricted delivery, or deliver the letter of demand by personal service. Documentation of this procedure must be included with the original check.
It should be emphasized that the Ames Police Department will investigate all forgeries no matter what amount the check is written for.