By: Erica Proffer Email
By: Erica Proffer Email

After stealing money from local businesses, one area man is facing charges of theft of property by deceit.

However, the victims in this case lost more than cash. They took a blow to not only their wallets, but also their pride, and their trust in others.

Twenty-eight-year-old Tony McDonald was staying in two motels in Ozark when police made the arrest.

Police say the Banks native tried to make a quick buck by scamming some local businesses.

McDonald was arrested on four counts of theft of property by deceit, after he took nearly $300 dollars from two Ozark businesses, the Sonic Drive-In and the Waffle King, both located on Highway 231.

"Unless it's a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina or Ivan, when communications are down, typically most reputable general contractors don't go out to solicit business in that method," says Mike Wolfe, Glenn Construction Company.

Workers at Sonic declined to make a comment, but police say the phony contractor came into the business three different times, took money claiming he had done roofing work that never existed.

And, all three times, the workers fell for it.

At Waffle King, the owner told News 4 McDonald came in asking to fix a leak.

Employees say he claimed to work for Allied Construction, but didn't have proof on him.

The business gave him $50 dollars to buy materials, but when no work was done they knew they had been tricked.

Workers say McDonald came back into the restaurant saying the owner told him to take an additional $50 bucks. That’s when charges were filed.

"Anyone who is legitimate will have no problem what-so-ever in presenting those documents to you to verify they are honest," says Ozark Police Chief Tony Spivey.

Police say this is the first time this has happened to a business.

They say the scam is usually run on people in the community, especially older residents.

But either way, police say make sure you get proof the company is legitimate before handing over any money.

It’s important to remember, construction companies usually don't solicit businesses, unless it's during some natural disaster. But even then, scammers are still out there.

Just check for proper identification to be sure it's a reputable company.

Police say the suspect stole the money over the course of two weeks.

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