Floridian hit with theft charges

Published 8:37 pm Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Florida man now faces two charges in two separate cities in Covington County after knowingly using insufficient checking account funds to purchase big-ticket items from local businesses.

Maurice Brown, 22, of Jacksonville, is currently being held in the Covington County Jail on a $20,000 bond after investigators with the Opp Police Department charged him with first-degree theft by deception and Andalusia Police Department investigators charged him with first-degree theft of property for purchases made in November.

“Brown used a small sum of money to open a checking account in Jacksonville,” an OPD spokesperson said. “It appears he then came north with a group of individuals. While here, he purchased a lawnmower on Sat., Nov. 1, from JR’s Lawnmower Shop.”

The equipment purchase from JR’s earned Brown his first charge in Covington County, first-degree theft of property by deception.

Brown was detained by authorities in Jacksonville for a number of undisclosed warrants and was transferred to Covington County to face local charges on Fri., Nov. 28.

OPD investigators continued their investigation into Brown’s spending spree by subpoenaing records for the account opened in Jacksonville and discovered another large purchase made at Sunsouth in Andalusia.

Lt. Mike Bowlan of the Andalusia Police Department said he was contacted by OPD Wednesday with information needed to charge Brown with first-degree theft of property for equipment purchased from Sunsouth.

“OPD contacted us with the information gained from Brown’s checking account for the purchase made at Sunsouth,” Bowlan said. “We were then able to file the additional charge.”