Man arrested for reportedly scamming veteran

Published 12:12 am Sunday, April 9, 2017


VIDALIA — A Natchez man was arrested Friday for allegedly scamming a Vidalia Vietnam war veteran out of $575 for work the suspect claimed he would do.

Eddie W. Jones, 50, 15 Zoa St., was charged by Vidalia police for theft of the assets of an aged person.

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In February, Jones allegedly approached a 69-year-old Vietnam veteran about painting the victim’s Apple Street residence and performing other miscellaneous outside chores in February, said Vidalia Investigator Lt. Clint Robinson.

Robinson said after Jones completed 30 minutes of work, he allegedly approached the victim with a sob story about how if Jones did not receive $575, he was going to lose his residence.

“The victim felt bad for him and said, ‘OK, as long as you work the payment off,’” Robinson said, and Jones reportedly said he was willing to work it off.

“In the state of Louisiana, once you go into a verbal contract with someone, as a contractor, you have 35 days to complete the work or you can be charged with criminal charges.”

Robinson said he and other officers had spoken to Jones about returning the money, but after two months with Jones allegedly never showing up, police issued a bench warrant for Jones’ arrest.An Adams County deputy located Jones Friday and called Robinson to ask about the bench warrant. Afterward, Jones was arrested and extradited to Vidalia.

“I’d like to thank Sheriff Travis Patten and the Adams County Sheriff’s Office for their ability to work well with other agencies in the area,” Robinson said. “Every law enforcement agency in the region are working well together and that’s good for the area.”

A person charged with the crime of theft of the assets of an aged person or disabled person when the value of the theft is $500 or more may be imprisoned for up to 10 years.

Robinson said this is the second time in six months Jones has been arrested in Vidalia. Jones is previously accused of taking a woman’s ladder while doing work for her and never returning it.

Jones also had a bench warrant for failure to appear for driving without a seatbelt, driving under a suspension and driving with an expired license plate. His bench warrant fee is $800.

Jones was in jail Saturday and had not been before a judge to receive a bond.

Jones had holds for Franklin Parish Sheriff’s Office and Natchez Police Department. The hold for Franklin Parish is for repair fraud.