A local architect who allegedly stole a car in Dana Point and was pursued by helicopter and foot on Thursday faces additional trouble in Missouri, where he has been charged with passing a bad check and is under investigation for allegedly defrauding tornado victims.
Clark Baxter, 58, the founder of Sustainable Designs Inc. on Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point, was arrested shortly after noon Thursday on suspicion of vehicle theft. He has since been released, according to jail records.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department sent a helicopter to hunt for Baxter, but Lt. Joe Balicki said he was captured on foot without incident.
According to an investigation by the Joplin (Mo.) Globe, Baxter was also involved with a local charity in the tornado-ravaged city and allegedly started taking money from storm victims with the promise he would rebuild their homes sustainably.
He told at least two residents -- who subsequently paid him tens of thousands of dollars -- their new homes would incur little or no utility costs and have little impact on the environment, according to the Globe.
Baxter has not yet been charged in connection with those complaints, but the investigation is ongoing, a Missouri official said Friday.
"We still have an active investigation and hope to file charges soon," said Nanci Gonder, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Attorney General's office.
Also in Missouri, Baxter has been charged one felony count of passing a bad check worth more than $6,000 to a lumber company.
Attempts Friday to contact Baxter were unsuccessful. Phone numbers listed online for Sustainable Design Inc. were disconnected.