Warner Robins man charged with theft by deception

WARNER ROBINS — A Warner Robins man is accused of theft by deception after complaints of aggressive panhandling in parking lots at shopping centers in town.

Frank Garmon Jr., 41, who lives in the 1300 block of Beaver Run Drive, is accused of scamming people by saying his battery was dead, asking for a jump and a ride back to his car. He would then change his story, telling people that he needed cash once he was inside their vehicle, police said.

Warner Robins police Lt. Chris Rooks urged folks not to engage in conversation or comply with requests from people asking for money and handouts in parking lots. Instead, people should report such activity to 911, Rooks said.

Rooks also urged people not to allow a stranger into their car, which he said greatly increases a person’s risk of being victimized.

Rooks noted that there are plenty of social service agencies in town that offer help to people with legitimate needs in an appropriate setting.

Garmon was initially picked up for loitering in the 2600 block of Watson Boulevard about 3 a.m. Sunday. He was charged Wednesday with two counts of theft by deception for incidents on May 11 and May 12 involving the alleged dead-battery scam, Rooks said.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 923-3109, extension 243.