Two Georgia men accused of elderly exploitation in Fairhope

Police say these criminals aim to target vulnerable people like the elderly.
Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 11:21 PM CST
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FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WALA) - Two Georgia men are sitting in the Baldwin County Jail.

They’re accused of scamming elderly people out of thousands of dollars to lay down pine straw.

Fairhope Police say the bad guys used intimidation to receive a much larger payout than they originally quoted.

On Monday Fairhope Police arrested Stanchavious Turner and Jarel Farley.

Both men are accused of deceiving homeowners out of thousands of dollars this month for landscaping services.

Police say these criminals aim to target vulnerable people like the elderly.

Lieutenant Shane Nolte with FPD says the total bill was much higher than they originally promised.

“Basically going to a house and saying hey we’ve been doing a landscaping job right up the street, we’ve got some extra pine straw left would you like to have your pine straw re-done,” Lieutenant Nolte said. “Five dollars at sixty cents a bale the other one seven dollars.”

Lieutenant Nolte says when the homeowners got the bill it was three thousand dollars.

One Fairhope couple says they were a victim of a crime similar to this five years ago.

“When I saw it on the news story tonight I thought wait a minute that happened to me. And is it still happening?” Lynn Barnes said.

Lynn and Alan Barnes want to share their story, to help prevent other people from being a victim.

“This is so embarrassing to even tell anybody but someone came to our door. They said that they had pine straw would we like them to put it out in the yard and I thought yes I would like that,” Lynn said.

Barnes says she got much more than she bargained for when several men started scattering pine straw throughout her yard.

“There’s ten people in my yard putting pine straw on anything that didn’t move,” Lynn said. “We thought no this isn’t right and we went out and said stop and they really didn’t stop they just went on.”

Investigators say Farley and Turner used intimidation on the homeowners to get them to pay the bill.

The homeowners complied out of fear of retaliation.

Which is exactly what Lynn and Alan didn’t want to go through five years ago.

“It could be very intimidating to somebody and they could feel like well I’ve gotta get it or this person’s gonna hurt me,” Alan said. “This guy who talked to us at the end was not nice.”

Lynn says they ended up only paying them three hundred dollars.

They have advice for anyone else who may go through this.

“Anybody that finds themself in this position, go back in your house call 911, and wait for the police to come and bring them in your home,” Lynn said.

Lieutenant Nolte says to prevent situations like this get a quote upfront, ask for a business card, and involve the police if you need to.

In this most recent case, both men are charged with financial exploitation of the elderly and theft by deception.


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