Delvin R. Jones, 36, a California resident, is now in the Washington Parish Jail charged with a crime committed in Washington Parish in 2016.
In September 2016, a local business reported that someone had fraudently purchased a zero turn lawnmower using a stolen credit card. The lawnmower had been delivered to a Washington Parish address, but the purchase had been made over the telephone. The total charge on the credit card was $8,066.49. A couple of weeks after the purchase, the business owner received a letter from the credit card company advising him that the card had been stolen.
The patrol deputy who handled the initial complaint referred the matter to the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office detective division. Detectives pursued the matter and were able to determine that the New Orleans owners of the credit card had recently been to California on vacation. Detectives also were able to obtain a California license plate number from a person who noticed a strange vehicle in the yard where the lawnmower had been delivered and wrote down the license plate number.
With information in hand, detectives were able to identify the fraudulent purchaser as Delvin Jones from Oakland, California. A warrant was issued for Jones and he was listed in the national criminal justice database as a wanted person. In January 2017, law enforcement officers in Austin, Texas, stopped Jones for a traffic offense, realized his wanted status, arrested him and placed him in jail. The Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office was notified of the arrest and traveled to Austin to bring Jones back to Washington Parish. He was placed in the Washington Parish Jail on February 8 charged with unauthorized use of a credit card and theft. He remains in jail with his bond set at $7,500.
The lawnmower has not been recovered and the case remains under investigation. It is suspected that Jones may have committed similar thefts in other parts of the country.
Sheriff Randy Seal commented. “Business owners should be very cautious when conducting business over the telephone or internet, especially if you do not know the purchaser personally. It is best to see the purchaser in person if at all possible. Our detectives did a good job in locating Jones and I hope additional crimes he may have committed can be solved as a result of his arrest. Criminals should understand that we have the ability to reach out to law enforcement officers throughout the country. They are always ready and willing to assist us.”