Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Vacant Home Hijackers Keep Georgia Cops Busy As Three Cobb Men Get Pinched On Burglary, Forgery, Theft By Deception Charges In Rental Scam

In Marietta, Georgia, The Marietta Daily Journal reports:

  • Three Cobb men are accused of leasing out homes that they didn’t own, with nearly 20 people claiming to have been duped by just one suspect. Officer Mike Bowman with Cobb Police said 19 people have told police that Johnny Eugene Harris, 44, of Acworth rented them property he did not own.

  • According to a warrant issued Oct. 5, Harris removed the front and back door locks from a $220,000 home that was up for sale [...] in Mableton. He forged a lease agreement with a woman wanting to rent the home around Aug. 15 and allowed her to move in, police said.

  • The real homeowner told police he later went to check on his home and saw people living in it. When the homeowner asked the woman what she was doing in the house, she showed him the lease agreement she had signed with Harris and the keys he gave her.

  • Harris is also accused of taking $5,000 from the woman: $3,000 for a security deposit and two $1,000 rent payments. He remains in the Cobb County Jail on a $200,000 bond on charges of burglary, two counts of theft by deception and first-degree forgery, all felonies.

  • Two Powder Springs men accused of charges similar to Harris’ also remain in the Cobb County Jail on $35,000 bonds. According to warrants, the father and son team of Rodger Dudley Mason, 53, and Taylor Martin Mason, 19, are accused of changing the locks at a home [...] in Powder Springs. They hooked up utilities in their name, sold items in the house and rented a room to a man for $400 a month, police said.


  • The pair were arrested on Oct. 13 and each charged with three counts of burglary and theft by taking, both felonies, and theft by deception, a misdemeanor.

For the story, see 3 accused of renting out houses they didn’t own.

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