California man now in parish jail

Published 10:29 am Friday, February 10, 2017

Delvin R. Jones, 36, a California resident, is now in the Washington Parish Jail, charged with a crime committed in Washington Parish in 2016, according to Chief Deputy Mike Haley of the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Haley said that in September 2016, a local business reported that someone had fraudulently purchased a zero-turn lawnmower using a stolen credit card. The lawnmower had been delivered to a Washington Parish address, but the purchase had been made over the telephone. The total charge on the credit card was $8,066.49. A couple of weeks after the purchase, the business owner received a letter from the credit card company advising him that the card had been stolen, Haley said.

The patrol deputy who handled the initial complaint referred the matter to the WPSO detective division, Haley said. Detectives pursued the matter and were able to determine that the New Orleans owners of the credit card had recently been to California on vacation. Detectives also were able to obtain a California license plate number from a person who noticed a strange vehicle in the yard where the lawnmower had been delivered, and wrote down the license plate number.

Haley said that detectives were able to identify the fraudulent purchaser as Delvin Jones, of Oakland, Calif. A warrant was issued for Jones and he was listed in the national criminal justice database as a wanted person.

In January 2017, law enforcement officers in Austin, Texas, stopped Jones for a traffic offense, realized his wanted status, arrested him and placed him in jail, Haley said. The WPSO was notified of the arrest and traveled to Austin to bring Jones back to Washington Parish.

He was placed in the Washington Parish Jail on Wednesday, and charged with unauthorized use of a credit card and theft. He remains in jail with his bond set at $7,500.

The lawnmower has not been recovered and the case remains under investigation. Haley said it is suspected that Jones may have committed similar thefts in other parts of the country.

Parish Sheriff Randy Seal said that the arrest showed that the nation’s law enforcement officers work together to combat crimes, no matter where they occur.

“Business owners should be very cautious when conducting business over the telephone or internet, especially if you do not know the purchaser personally,” Seal said. “It is best to see the purchaser in person if at all possible. Our detectives did a good job in locating Jones and I hope additional crimes he may have committed can be solved as a result of his arrest.

“Criminals should understand that we have the ability to reach out to law enforcement officers throughout the country. They are always ready and willing to assist us.”