Sheriff Says Two Men Sold Items Online They Didn’t Own, As Part Of Elaborate Scheme
LEE COUNTY, MISS. (WCBI) – Two men are jailed after investigators uncover an elaborate scheme where the suspects are accused of selling property they did not own.
Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson says 42 year old Louis Rodgers and 24 year old Renshay Dean broke into a home, took photos of items such as tractors, and other equipment, then posted the items for sale on social media sites.
“People looking at the Facebook ad responded to the Facebook ad, made an offer for the property, agreed to meet this particular individual back out at the property, exchanged money and took possession of this property, not knowing it did not belong to that individual who was selling it,” Sheriff Johnson said.
He says the suspects knew the homeowner was out of town on business, so they would meet prospective buyers at the victim’s house, where the items were sold.
Investigators were brought in when the rightful owner of the items came home, realized the valuables were missing, and called the sheriff’s department.
“Fortunately this one had a good ending where we were able to tie down the individuals that were responsible for doing this,” Johnson said.
Sheriff Johnson acknowledges it would have been tough for anyone to have known the suspects did not actually own the items they were selling. The sheriff says anyone looking for a safe spot to make a transaction after an online purchase can take advantage of exchange parking spaces at the sheriff’s office.
“If you can’t get the property here, as in this case, you could certainly come and do the financial transaction here, we’re not going to assist or anything, we are just offering a safe space to come do it, I think this would have prevented anybody from being the victim because not very many people will come to the sheriff’s department that are pulling a hoax or a scam,” the sheriff said.
Rodgers and Dean are charged with Grand Larceny. Both are being held on a $50,000 bond.
Sheriff Johnson says if you purchased anything from the suspects, call his office so the property can be returned to its owner. That number is 662 680 5766.