Morro Bay man accused of burglary, forgery sprees

November 7, 2014
Phong Thanh Tran

Phong Thanh Tran

Following a several month investigation, Morro Bay police detectives arrested a man Wednesday for burglarizing businesses and stealing checks out of mailboxes, which he then forged to his name.

Morro Bay resident Phong Thanh Tran, 44, allegedly burglarized the Dutchman Restaurant on May 26, as well as the Antiques Etc. on Oct. 31. Tran caused a loss of more than $5,000 to the restaurant and damaged both businesses by forcing entry, according to Morro Bay police.

When detectives arrested Tran, he was in possession of personal checks forged to his name. Investigators believe Tran stole checks out of mailboxes throughout Morro Bay.

Police charged Tran with multiple counts of commercial burglary, forgery and possession of stolen property and fraudulent checks. He is also implicated in other acts of larceny over the last few months, and authorities are considering additional charges.

An investigation into Tran’s act is ongoing. The Morro Bay Police Department asks that anyone who may have been the victim of recent mail theft contact detectives at (805) 772-6225.


With prop 47, this guy will more than likely just walk away. Maybe those fisherman he stole from will take him on a “sleep with the fishes” fishing trip.


The inherent weakness of check writing and cashing of the world’s established financial system never ceases to amaze me. It is so dependent upon trust, as many things with finance are, yet it so susceptible to forgery and fraud.

One would think that in 2014, there would be a different system in place; but I suppose it is like a FAX machine, just another relic from the past that everyone uses, so it won’t go away anytime soon.

Theo P. Neustic

Don’t fret. Soon, the banks and their benefactors, the government,will be able to just scan you for the appropriate mark that will allow you to conduct business in their system. No more cash or checks, just electronic. That way they can always get their “cut” too.

Theo P. Neustic

But back to him, “Mike” as he is known, was a crew man on the Vietnamese long line boat “Golden Eagle” . A few weeks ago, he got caught, red handed, stealing fuel from the work boat “Michael Uhl”. Subsequently,after his release from the county graybar hotel, he was caught stealing checks from the fisherman’s pay folder at Morro Bay Fish Company. He reportedly is a Asian gang member who had already done hard time.