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Sunday, Sep. 21, 2014

Suspicious moves alert officers to bank fraud attempt

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Observations from personnel of a loan firm hit twice by robbers this year helped police capture two suspects in an alleged fraud attempt at a nearby bank.

Warren Louis Jones, 46, of Blacksburg, S.C., appeared "nervous" before cashing a document appearing to be a Titan Transfer Logistics payroll check at FIrst Community Bank, Elm Street, on Saturday, Sgt. James Wilkerson said.

Missing security features led Wilkerson to suspect the check was counterfeit.

Jones and Jemario Barnard Baldwin, 25, of Charlotte, N.C., the driver of a car in which Jones had been riding, were arrested after police were notified by Volunteer Pawn employees of suspicious actions around the vehicle.

Volunteer Pawn, located across the street from the bank, was hit by a robber whose description is similar to Jones and Baldwin, police were told. The men have not been charged in those robberies.

Suspicious moves

Jones got out of the car across from the bank and, while inside, Baldwin drove to a hill a block away and parked facing the bank. Baldwin drove as if he was trying to avoid video surveillance cameras from detecting the car before picking up Jones across the street, Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson and officer Brock Horner stopped the car as it was exiting a parking lot. Jones, who is wanted in North Carolina for fraud, allegedly gave Wilkerson three versions of why he was in the bank. He sweated profusely, the lateral veins in his neck were thumping and excessive chest movement was noticed by Wilkerson, who noted those are signs of extreme nervousness.

Jones was charged with forgery and theft of property and is being held on $40,000 bond. Baldwin, charged with criminal responsibility for facilitation of a felony and theft of property, posted $50,000 bond.