Traffic stop leads to fraud charges


Staff Writer

Sunday, November 18, 2018

A traffic stop in Tarboro last week led to fraud charges against two Rocky Mount residents and illustrates the extra lengths Tarboro police go to in protecting elderly residents.

According to a press release sent Saturday by Tarboro Police Chief Jesse Webb, the traffic stop took place Tuesday in the Beechwood Drive area of Tarboro.

Tarboro police Cpl. Lee Bailey was using radar to check traffic in the area as part of the department’s efforts to curb speeding in residential areas when he spotted a car being driven by 36-year-old Rocky Mount resident Randall Lee Joyner.

Knowing that Joyner’s driver’s license had been suspended, Bailey initiated a traffic stop. During the course of the discussion, Joyner told Bailey that he had been performing repairs at a residence on Brandon Avenue. Bailey also learned that Joyner had a history of fraudulent activity involving exploitation of the elderly.

Bradley released Joyner with a citation but went to the residence on Brandon Avenue to check out the situation. He spoke with an elderly homeowner who confirmed that Joyner had approached her about doing repairs to her home.

Bailey was not convinced the repairs were necessary and contacted Alan Davis, building inspector for the town of Tarboro, who inspected the home for damage and also inspected the work Joyner had done. Davis confirmed that the repairs were not structurally necessary and the work done to the home was not in compliance with acceptable building codes, the release said. 

Based on the report made by Davis, Joyner and an accomplice have been arrested. The accomplice was identified as Jessica Lynn Strickland, 34, of Rocky Mount. Both have been charged with one count of obtaining property by false pretenses and one count of exploitation of the elderly. Strickland was also served with several orders for arrest from Nash County. The two were jailed under $15,000 bonds each in the Edgecombe County Detention Center.

Because Bailey investigated the matter so quickly, some of the money paid out by the victim was recovered, the release said.

“We would like to take this opportunity and encourage all homeowners to thoroughly investigate any contractor performing work at your home,” Webb said in the release. “It is not normal business practices for a contractor to approach you about repairs to your home. If you have any questions or concerns about the legitimacy of a contractor or proposed work to your home, please feel free to contact the police department for assistance before making any payments.”