LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Officers with the Lufkin Police Department arrested three Georgia residents Tuesday on engaging in organized criminal activity charges in connection with allegations that they tricked cashiers at the Five Guys and Which Wich restaurants into giving them too much change.
Jovaun Egon Clarke, 24, Rashad Romel Fountain, 27, both of Conyers, Georgia, and Tepetrious Floretta Jackson, 22, of Decatur, Georgia, were all charged with third-degree felony engaging in organized criminal activity.
Fountain was also charged with state-jail felony theft from a person, and Clarke was also charged with Class C misdemeanor no driver's license. Jail records indicate Jackson was also charged with Class A misdemeanor unlawfully carrying a weapon.
According to the narrative of the offense report, an LPD officer was dispatched to the Five Guys restaurant located at 4505 S. Medford Drive to check on a theft that had just occurred. When he got there, he spoke to the victim, a Five Guys employee.
"[The victim] advised that a customer entered the restaurant and ordered a burger," the narrative stated. "[The victim] stated that the customer gave her a $100 bill to pay for the food and was wanting change. As [the victim] was getting the customer his change, she stated he took his $100 back and told her to keep the cents for his change. [The victim] stated she wasn't thinking and proceeded to get the change."
The Five Guys employee told the LPD officer that she realized that the man had taken back his $100 bill, and before she could react, he reached over and took the $91 in change from her hand, the narrative stated. According to the narrative, the victim said the suspect was accompanied by a woman, and they both left the restaurant and got into a 2000s model Cadillac CTS.
Another Five Guys employee went outside, confronted the man, and told him he needed to give back the change. The suspect allegedly came back into the restaurant and then left again after he told the second employee that he was going to get his kids, so they could eat.
However, the suspect and the woman with him left the scene, the narrative stated. The second Five Guys employee followed them, but he was unable to get a license plate number because it was a paper tag. The second employee described the two men and the two woman inside the Cadillac.
While the LPD officer was taking the report at Five Guys, employees from Which Wich came over and said they had similar theft at their business that might have been committed by the same suspects.
The Which Wich employee gave similar descriptions of two of the suspects and said that the man tried to purchase a rice crispy and a brownie. At that point, the suspect gave the employee a $100 bill and asked her if she had enough change, the narrative stated. The woman said that she did.
Then the suspect took the $100 bill back and asked for his change, the narrative said. He also allegedly told her to keep the cents.
"[The victim] stated she was distracted because he was on the phone talking to someone and cussing a lot," the narrative stated. "She stated the suspect was leaning over the counter, and she handed him the change of $95. [The employee] stated she then realized he kept the $100."
Another Which Wich employee went outside and told them they took the change. According to the narrative, both suspects said they didn't have the change, and they left the scene after they got into their vehicle.
Both restaurants had surveillance video of the thefts, according to the narrative.
While the first LPD officer was taking the theft report at Which Wich, another LPD officer found the suspects' Cadillac near Logan's and made a traffic stop on it. The suspect who short-changed the cashiers was identified as Fountain, and the woman that was with him as IDed as Jackson. Clarke was the other occupant of the Cadillac. The fourth occupant of the car was not arrested, according to a supplement to the arrest report.
A $100 bill was found in Fountain's pocket, the narrative stated. According to Lufkin Police Department's daily activity report, the LPD officers found a total of $3,949 in cash on the three suspects and in their vehicle. The search also turned up a Taurus pistol in the netted seat back directly in front of Jackson.