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Polk County News and Democrat Woman charged with grand theft
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News Story
Updated: 08/10/2013 08:00:27AM

Woman charged with grand theft

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Barbara Ann Johnson was charged on July 24 with grand theft when she cashed a fraudulent check for $1,290 she said she received from a British company for doing online surveys, the Bartow Police Department reports.

On May 10, Johnson, 48, of 660 Main St., Bradlee, went into El Patron Market to cash the cashier’s check for $1,290 drawn from Community Trust Credit Union in Gurnee, Ill. She got the cash and left the store. The check was later returned to El Patron Market as fraudulent. The clerk there remembered the check and had a copy of it.

A Bartow officer made contact with Bonnie Wood at Community Trust Credit Union who acknowledged the fraudulent letter was sent.

On July 24, Johnson called the police department and said she did cash the check and it was pay for her employment with a British computer online survey company. She said she began working for the company at the end of February. She could not say what the wage scale was, the police report.

Johnson said she was looking for paperwork verifying her employment but she did not know where it was. She said the check was mailed to her son’s address and it did not have a return address on it.

The check showed no association with the business and for it to be valid the British business would have to do international business with the credit union in Illinois, police reported.

During the phone conversation, Johnson never objected to being defrauded for the work she had done, police reported, but she did offer to repay El Patron Market for the face value of the check.

Police report that Johnson should have known the check was fraudulent and was charged with the crimes, police report.

Man charged with
choking woman

A 33-year-old Bartow resident was charged with choking his wife in front of their kids on July 29, the Bartow Police Department reported.

Michael Patrick Williams Sr. approached his wife in the bathroom where she was bathing her daughters and he claimed she took his tobacco rolling papers. The victim said she was sitting on the toilet giving them a bath when Williams Sr. began to choke her and she couldn’t breath, police reported.

She then said she tried to push Williams Sr. away and he began to hit her in the face.

The fight then continued in the bedroom as she had escaped the bathroom, where he threw her onto the bed and began choking her again, police report.

The victim then said she fled the house and went to a neighbor’s house where she asked her to get the children from the house because she did not want to go back in there, police said.

Argument over money
leads to arrest

A 33-year-old Bartow resident was charged July 26 with breaking the window of a woman’s apartment and domestic violence in an argument over money, the Bartow Police Department reports.

Lavar Deverett Inman, of 380 Indica Court, was charged with battery and criminal mischief, the police report.

A woman told police the two were arguing over money she said Inman said was owed to him. She said she didn’t have the money and Inman grabbed the victim by the hair, the police report.

When Inman lost his grip on her hair, she ran inside her residence, locking the door. Inman then went to the window and shattered it, the police report.

After being read his rights, Inman admitted to punching the glass and causing it to break. Police also noticed a broken bottle on the ground. Damage to the apartment was $250, police report.

Drug possession charged

Shawn Alexander Rushing, 37, was charged with possession of cocaine, possession of paraphernalia and trespass after warning on July 28, the Bartow Police Department reports.

Rushing was seen walking in the Azalea Gardens apartment complex where on May 26 he was issued an order not to trespass, the police department reported.

Officer Luke Hauser said he was not able to talk to Rushing as there was a large crowd in the area. Later though he did make contact with Rushing and arrested him for trespassing, he reported.

During a search of Rushing, a pipe that was burnt on both ends was found in his rear pocket. A silver piece of wire about eight inches long also was found in his rear pocket, police reported.

The pipe had a fine wire packed in it and the residue on it was tested. It was cocaine, police report.

Rushing was charged further, taken to the Bartow Police Department to be booked and transported to the Bartow County Jail.

Man charged with
possession of pills

A 28-year-old Lakeland man was arrested on Church Street July 25 for possession of hydrocodone, the Bartow Police Department reported.

Ian Royce Brockus, of 2277 Crystal Grove Lane, Lakeland, was approached by a police officer at 980 E. Church St. sitting in a breezeway. The officer said he got consent to do a search for weapons and during the search the officer saw a black and red case on ground next to the suspect.

After receiving consent to open the case the officer found five white pills inside. When he asked Brokus what they were, after reading him his rights, he said they were oxycondone and he had gotten them from a friend, the police reported. Brokus further said he did not have a prescription for the pills. Brokus was then arrested and taken to the county jail, police report.

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