Thursday, June 25, 2009

Elder Scam Artist Jailed Monday While Investigation Continues

   The elder of two men against whom police officials had sought information recently in connection with possible scams, was taken into custody Monday after he and his son yielded themselves at the Lawrenceburg Police Department.

   Lawrenceburg Police Chief Judy Moore had issued an alert to the public, warning residents, especially those of a more advanced age, to be on the lookout for the father/son team, who reportedly prefer to prey upon the elderly. 

   According to Moore, the pair had been identified in scam incidents reported in the Lawrenceburg area since at least 2006. She reported that the pair is known to knock upon the door of unsuspecting residents, posing as handymen. They reportedly offer to perform odd jobs at the homes, such as tree trimming, cleaning gutters, sealing driveways or painting. The pair is said to requests payment up front then perform little, if any, work. Once they leave the premises, victims reported the pair never returned.

   The father was identified as Tony L. Joles, 47, of 12267 Lawngate Road, Athens, Alabama. The son, who resides at the same address, was identified as Tony Newton Joles, age 18.

   Moore indicated that the younger Joles had been spotted in the Lawrenceburg area in recent months, allegedly continuing to run similar scams. The latest local scam in which both were involved is believed to be one reported by a resident of Earl Drive.

   Moore reported that the senior Joles was identified in connection with similar scams reported in Athens in 2006. An indictment was subsequently issued against him in March of 2007 charging him with the crime of theft over $1,000. Since that time, however, authorities had been unable to locate Joles to serve the indictment.

   Monday morning the Joles came to the Lawrenceburg Police Department where they spoke with detectives regarding local allegations against them. The elder Joles, Tony L. Joles, was arrested on the outstanding warrant and processed through the Lawrence County Jail. He then posted bond and was released from custody.

   Investigation into the various allegations against the pair is continuing at the current time through the department’s Criminal Investigation Division. Additional charges are pending.

   In addition to the Lawrence and Limestone County crimes, officials feel the pair may have been involved in scam crimes in Maury and Giles County, the Nashville area, and as far away as Meridian, Mississippi.