Nicole Johnson
Nicole Johnson
March 5, 2013

Here's a benefit of living in small-town Iowa:

The bank teller knows when someone forged your signature on a check.

That happened last week after Nicole L. Johnson, 27, of Carroll, allegedly stole bank checks from an 80-year-old man whose house she cleaned for the past several months and cashed two of the checks for a total of $1,400.

She allegedly tried to steal more money with a third forged check at Commercial Savings Bank on Feb. 26.

But the teller, who for decades has seen the careful cursive that adorns Glenn Jochims' checks, knew it was a fake, Jochims told the Daily Times Herald on Monday.

"It's a good thing that (she) was at the drive-in window that day," he said of the teller who asked not to be identified in this article. "We've known each other for years and years and years. She knew that ain't Rocky's handwriting."

(Quick side note: Jochims says he's had the nickname "Rocky" since he was a teen who detasseled corn near Templeton in the summers. He says there was a boy who bullied the other workers, and that during a lunch break Jochims warned that he would throw a rock at the bully if he took a step closer. The bully took a step closer.)

Johnson allegedly fled the bank drive-thru and tried to cash another check for $1,000 in Des Moines the next day, which was denied when the check-cashing business contacted Jochims for approval.

Johnson was arrested Friday in Carroll and charged with three felonies for forgery, each of which is punishable by up to five years in prison.

"She seemed like a really nice lady," Jochims said of Johnson. "She did a hell of a good job cleaning my house - plus my checkbook."

Jochims said he hasn't noticed anything else missing from the house and has started a search for Johnson's replacement.

"She just cleaned it less than a week before," he said of Johnson, "so I'm in pretty good shape for a couple weeks."