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‘Pine Straw Bandits’ nabbed at Rankin Co. BankPlus

Pine Straw Bandits nabbed at BankPlus.
Pine Straw Bandits nabbed at BankPlus.(Special to WLBT)
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 1:23 PM CST
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FLOWOOD, Miss. (WLBT) - Alleged scammers are behind bars Tuesday after they attempted to bilk a Rankin County resident out of $2,600.

Tuesday, Rankin County Sheriff’s Department and Flowood Police Department responded to a BankPlus location, where they arrested two men who authorities dubbed the “Pine Straw Bandits.”

The Rankin County Sheriff’s Department received a call from a resident “claiming that a group of men came by their house wanting to put out pine straw for $7 a bale. The men claimed that it would only take a few bales and would be done shortly.”

Instead, the sheriff’s department said when the work was completed, the men “claimed it took more than 379 bales and that the homeowner owed the men approximately $2,600.”

The homeowner’s mother wrote a check to the men, who then attempted to cash it at a BankPlus location, according to a release from the sheriff’s office.

The men were discovered at the bank and were arrested. The two were taken to the Rankin County Jail.

Sheriff Bryan Bailey said the two men were attempting to alter the check, and that a teller there contacted the account holder before cashing it.

The sheriff says the suspects face misdemeanor charges for violating the county’s door-to-door sales ordinance.

The person who attempted to alter the check also faces a felony forgery charge.

The sheriff’s office says this is a “repeat scam” and that the individuals involved often target the elderly.

If you believe you are a target of the scam, contact the sheriff’s department at (601) 825-1480.

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