LAURINBURG — Despite a change of venue and a brief chase, the scams originally targeting Lowe’s have been shut down by Laurinburg police.
According to Laurinburg Police Capt. Chris Young, the department was alerted on Friday to a third attempt to obtain property by false pretenses in the city — only this time the scam was going down at the Speedway on East Church Street instead of Lowe’s, the site of the first two crimes.
When officers arrived and approached the vehicle, one of the men fled on foot.
The man, later identified as 25-year-old Derondre Arnezz Parker of Raeford, was caught and arrested behind the Speedway. The other man, 36-year-old Randall Jay Johnson of Fayetteville, remained in the vehicle but drove off on Hwy. 401 towards Wagram.
Police officers pursued the vehicle and, after spikes were deployed, Johnson was caught in between Laurinburg and Wagram.
The arrests come after two victims reported to police earlier this month that someone dressed as a Lowe’s employee offered a lawnmower at an employee discount on a social media selling app. The employee then took the money to pay for the lawnmower and never returned. When the men contacted the store they learned that the employee wasn’t actually an employee.
On Friday, Parker was charged with two counts of obtaining property by false pretenses, two counts of felony larceny, one count of attempting to obtain property by false pretenses, three counts of conspiracy of attempting to obtain property by false pretenses, and one count of delay and obstructing justice.
He was given a $166,000 bond.
Johnson was charged with two counts of obtaining property by false pretenses, one count of attempted obtaining property by false pretenses, three counts of conspiracy of obtaining property by false pretenses, three counts of accessory after the fact to a felony, felony flee to avoid arrest with a motor vehicle, and reckless driving to endanger.
He was given a $440,000 bond.
Young said the Southern Pines Police Department has also obtained warrants for Johnson and Parker for obtaining property by false pretenses.
Katelin Gandee can be reached at 910-506-3171 or [email protected]