ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Dougherty County Sheriff's investigators are warning businesses about a telephone scam being run by Alabama prisoners.
Joseph Harvey Raper, an inmate at the Ventress Correctional Center near Clayton, Alabama, is charged with theft by deception and criminal intent at theft by deception.
Investigators say he's the ringleader of a prison scam in which cell phones are used to place orders for goods.
$16,000 worth of lawn equipment was stolen from Potter Motor Company in Albany after a caller, claiming he represented Albany Water, Gas and Light, ordered two lawn mowers and a blower.
After the items were picked up, Albany WG&L was billed for them, and it was discovered that WG&L never ordered the items.
A warrant is out for the arrest of Fletcher Williams of Alabama who picked up the mowers.
He's wanted for theft by deception.
Sheriff's investigators say other businesses have been targeted as well.
Two brothers, Dustin and Daniel Goodner of Lacy Springs, AL, were arrested last week when they showed up in Albany to pick up $17,000 worth of tires from Cleve Wester Tire Mart.
The tires had been ordered from a cell phone traced back to Ventress Correctional facility in Alabama.
Sheriff's investigators are warning other businesses to be on the lookout for suspicious telephone orders for goods and items and alert officers if they get a call.