A local 30-year-old landed behind bars last week after a plan to allegedly pocket $800 from a woman went wrong just minutes later. The suspect, James Turner, reportedly was either unaware, or had forgotten, that CashApp transactions can't be erased.
A Douglas Police Department incident report stated that around 5:11 a.m. on May 2, an officer was dispatched to Circle K on East Baker Highway after receiving reports of a theft. The officer then spoke to a woman who claimed that a man identified as 30-year-old James Turner IV of Douglas had taken her phone and sent $800 to his girlfriend without her consent. She also reported that Turner had ridden with her to the store, along with another passenger.
The report continues with the victim stating that when they arrived at Circle K, she went inside to the "soda machine" to make a drink and placed her phone down. She explained that when she got to the counter to check out, she handed the cashier a $50 bill but was told that due to previous armed robberies, she could not break the bill. The cashier reportedly told her that they accepted CashApp and Touch Pay as forms of payment.
The victim then went to grab her phone but couldn’t find it and asked her friend to call her number to see if she could hear it ring, according to the report. When the female dialed the victim’s number, her phone allegedly began ringing in Turner’s pocket. Statements from the report say Turner handed her the cell phone, claiming he found it in the men’s bathroom.
The victim reported that when she checked her phone, she noticed someone had just sent $800 to a female through her CashApp. When the victim asked Turner about the transaction, he denied making the transaction and said he had not used her phone.
The officer also spoke to the passenger of the vehicle, who was also in the store at the time. She claimed that when she and the victim were fixing drinks, Turner was "walking around for a while" before walking into the bathroom and coming out shortly after.
According to the passenger’s statement, when the cashier told the victim she couldn’t break her $50, Turner walked back into the bathroom "briefly" and then came back out. She also said she heard the cell phone ring in Turner’s pocket.
At this time, Turner was taken into custody on a previous warrant and placed on a 48-hour hold in the Coffee County Jail.
Video surveillance of the incident was later obtained by the Circle K store manager, and according to the officer, the footage backed up the victim’s account of what occurred. The officer also stated that Turner is shown in the footage grabbing the cellphone by the drink machine, placing it in his back pocket, and walking into the bathroom. The report states that Turner then walked out of the restroom two minutes later and was shown holding the phone with the CashApp green screen pulled up on the screen. He, according to the officer, placed the phone in his back pocket just before the phone started ringing.
When asked about the transaction, Turner was reportedly witnessed walking out of the store. Turner was charged with identity fraud and theft by taking. He has since been released.
[All information was obtained through a Douglas Police Department incident report.]