S.C. man arrested in apparent Rainey Road flimflam

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 8, 2012

By Nathan Hardin
SALISBURY – Investigators have tracked down a man accused of stealing $5,000 from a Rainey Road woman during an apparent scam in August.
Johnny Anthony Jude Carroll, of Kerry Court in North Augusta, S.C., is in Aiken County jail after authorities said he lured the 63-year-old woman out of her home by pretending to be a construction worker.
Carroll, 27, then slipped into the woman’s home and took an envelope with $5,000 in cash inside, an arrest report said.
Deputies believe Carroll is part of the Irish Travelers, a large group of con artists who employ often sophisticated fraud techniques to steal from residents in the southeastern states.
Investigators said Carroll is in a sect of the group who recently moved to Iredell County. A larger operation is based in South Carolina.
Rowan County Detective Adam Loflin met with the Rainey Road victim in early September to go over the case, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The woman told Loflin a man knocked on her door about 4 p.m. on Aug. 31, asking if she could move her vehicle because they were doing road construction on Rainey Road.
The man was wearing an orange vest and had a vehicle with a round, yellowish emblem on the side, the report said.
The woman pulled her car behind the home, but when she went inside, the envelope was missing.
She told investigators she had recently retrieved the large sum from the bank “to complete some home repairs,” the report said.
Investigators said no evidence has shown if Carroll knew of the envelope prior to the flimflam or if he followed her home from the bank.
No other items, including the purse, was taken from the home, the report said.
Loflin spoke with a special agent with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division during the investigation. Carroll was identified as a possible suspect.
He was later confirmed as the alleged con artist by the 63-year-old during a photo lineup, deputies said.
Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten asks residents to be aware of solicitors in the area.
Auten said con artists will typically operate through fraud techniques like the bait-and-switch or divide-and-conquer.
“They’ll use a divide-and-conquer method where one’s a diversion while the other’s stealing from you,” Auten said.
Auten said residents interested in hiring services from door-to-door solicitors can protect themselves by asking for work references and a callback number.
“If it’s too good to be true, it is,” he said.Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.