SUMMERVILLE, SC Dec 3 2010 – Police arrested a Georgia man accused of conning Verizon Wireless stores out of $115,500 over a three-year period.
John E. Blanton, 32, of Atlanta, Ga., was arrested and charged with forgery Wednesday after police say he used a fake name to register for two phones and phone lines at a Summerville Verizon store.
Security personnel at Verizon’s corporate offices notified the Summerville store and told them Blanton had done the same thing in North Charleston the same day. In all, he managed to defraud the wireless company of $115,517 in three years.
According to the police report, the company had issued an e-mail alert concerning Blanton.
Blanton was captured by police Wednesday evening when they say he tried the same ruse at a Charleston Verizon store. During a search, they found one of the phones from the Summerville store, the report stated.
Summerville police took him to the Berkeley County Detention Center to await a bond hearing.
Some customers apparently got more than they paid for when they shopped at the BrandsMart USA in Stockbridge.
Six employees of the store have been arrested for stealing 188 televisions and two computer monitors valued at nearly $100,000, according to police.
The six in custody were arrested for felony theft and criminal conspiracy to commit a felony, according to Capt. Jason Bolton of the Henry County Police Department. More arrests are expected.
An investigation began after the Atlanta region protection manager for BrandsMart USA contacted police on May 11.
“They had noticed missing inventory, and they suspected an internal theft,” Bolton said Friday afternoon.
The theft scheme apparently began on the biggest shopping day of the year — the day after Thanksgiving. The six arrested apparently worked with other non-employees who came to the store as customers, according to police.
Those customers would then make a purchase, such as a small appliance. Then, the customer was instructed to drive to the back of the store with a receipt to pick up the purchase.
“In addition to the microwave, maybe two or three televisions were loaded in,” Bolton said.
Various types of flat screens were stolen, ranging from 32- to 50-inch models. Five of the stolen televisions and the computer monitors have been recovered, he said.
Those arrested include:
• Marice Foster, 22, of Atlanta.
• Jonathan Chambers, 23, of Decatur.
• Roderick Adams, 19, of Morrow.
• Demario Norris, 20, of McDonough.
• Justin Sprueil, 20, of Jonesboro.
• Dantelle Smith, 24, of Stockbridge.
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