SHELBY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Deputies with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office arrested a 29-year-old man on felony charges in collection to allegations that he convinced his victims to pay him by credit card, so their phone service wouldn't be disconnected.
LaDarren Antonio Reed, of Center, was arrested and charged with two third-degree felony counts of credit card/debit card abuse enhanced and one state-jail felony charge of credit card/debit card abuse. Reed is still being held in the Shelby County Jail, and his collective bail amount has been set at $35,000.
According to a press release, the SCSO received reports of a man calling the victims and telling that their phone bill hadn't been paid and that their service would be disconnected if they didn't pay their bills immediately.
"The caller was so persistent and pressing that the victims provided their pertinent information and credit/debit card information," the press release stated. "The caller has also advised victims that he was with the utility company as well with the sheriff's office attempting to get victims to give money for a widow's fund."
Over the course of the investigation by SCSO Chief Deputy D.J. Dickerson, the sheriff's office learned that Reed had used the victims' fraudulently obtained information to set up a landline phone for his parents as well as pay utility bills at an apartment where he was staying with his girlfriend.
After the Shelby County Sheriff's Office obtained arrest warrants for Reed, he was arrested by officers with the San Augustine Police Department on Nov. 22.