Tifton Gazette


June 10, 2014

Woman falls victim to electric billing scam

TIFTON — Local law enforcement responded to several recent incidents, including accidents caused by  driving under the influence and scams.

Officer Terry McStott reported May 28 that he responded with Sgt. Jody Abad to a reported accident with injuries and a vehicle rollover at Eighth Street and Tyson Avenue. He said as he arrived, he observed Abad running across Eighth Street, heading south. Several bystanders were pointing in his direction, saying that the driver, Santiago Hernandez, 51, of Omega, was running away.

McStott proceeded toward Abad who had tackled Hernandez and was placing handcuffs on him. As they tried walking the offender to a patrol car, he stopped walking and cooperating with them. They had to place him on the ground to wait for Emergency Medical Services to check him out.

McStott reported that Hernandez had a strong odor of alcohol about his person and his eyes were glassy and watery. The offender also appeared to be sleepy. Due to him being uncooperative and refusing any medical treatment, Hernandez was placed in the back of McStott's patrol car. He refused to submit to the state administered test. He was transported to the Tift County Jail and charged with DUI, driving with a suspended or revoked license, duty of driver to stop at or return to the scene of an accident, an open container violation and failure to maintain lane.

In another matter, Officer Bryan Rhodes was sent to the intersection of GA 35 and GA 520 due to a vehicle running off the road into a ditch by Logan's Roadhouse. When he arrived on the scene, he observed a Honda Accord in the southwest corner of the intersection in a ditch.

The complainant said she was at the intersection on GA 520 eastbound waiting for the light to change when the Honda Accord came south through the intersection.

Rhodes said he approached the vehicle and made contact with the driver, Kenny S. Moses, 42, of Ocilla. He noticed that Moses had red and watery eyes. He asked if he was OK and if he needed EMS, and Moses replied he was fine.

Rhodes asked him what caused him to leave the roadway and Moses said his brakes failed, but they were OK now. When asked how much alcohol he consumed, he said, "Nothing."

Rhodes said Moses had very slow and delayed responses to questions being asked, and he smelled a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his breath. Moses later said he had two beers when he was asked to take the roadside breath test. He was subsequently arrested and charged with DUI and failure to maintain lane.

Also, a 35-year-old woman reported May 27 that a Hispanic male called her place of business during lunch hour, claiming he was a representative for Georgia Power. He said she was approximately $647.96 behind on her electric bill and she needed to have it paid that day before they shut off the power to her business.

The woman said she was told to go to a local pharmacy and get two PayPal Money Paks from the cashier and put approximately $500 on one and approximately $137.36 on the other. He gave her instruction to scratch the serial numbers off the back of each Money Pak and give them to him so he could add the money to her business account at Georgia Power. The woman said she followed the instruction and thought her bill was paid.

She said the subject called back again and told her she needed to pay an additional $200 for a new electric meter for her business.

Officer Eddie Bailey reported that while he was at the business, the subject called again but refused to speak after he identified himself as a police officer.


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Jensen Rainey (left) and Josie Arant will both be participating in the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship next week in North Carolina.

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