Fake laptop computers sold from car yield two arrests

Published 12:12 pm Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Two Jackson men arrested Tuesday are accused of selling laptop computers from the parking lot of a conven-ience store on Washington Street. The problem: the computers don’t work.

At 11:50 a.m., a witness told police the two men were driving a 2001 Mercury Marquis, Chief Walter Armstrong said in a news release.

A short time later, police stopped the suspects in a parking lot in the 2200 block of South Frontage Road and recovered several FedEx boxes on the rear floorboard with bubble-wrapped computers in need of extensive repair, Armstrong said.

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Vicksburg police Lt. Bobby Stewart said officials recovered six computers Tuesday including a Compaq, Dell and Toshiba. The men were charged with misdemeanor false pretense and violating the Privilege Tax Ordinance.

“Anytime you can buy a laptop for $100 in a parking lot, it’s not a good deal,” said Stewart.

Officials said the computer scam report was the sixth the department has received.

On Monday a woman reported buying an inoperable computer for $200 at a fast-food restaurant on Clay Street.

The two suspects were released from police headquarters on $913 bond, Stewart said.

Officials believe several groups from the Jackson area have been selling the computers in Vicksburg and Madison County, Stewart said, and Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said several reports have been filed in the county in which computer shells were weighted down with phone books.

“This is a pretty common scam throughout the country where they’re selling electronics,” said Pace.

In some cases, he said, camcorders and cameras also are sold.