Local woman charged with several thefts

Published 6:10 pm Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Picayune woman was arrested Tuesday morning and faces charges for several thefts in two states.

That suspect, Edwanda Jones, 31, of 1202 Kingsway Dr., now faces more than ten charges for alleged theft incidents in Picayune and St. Tammany Parish. Including Tuesdays arrest she has been arrested a number of times this year for similar charges.

Picayune Police domestic violence investigator Constance Myers said Jones was picked up Tuesday on three charges. Those charges are petit larceny and two counts of uttering forgery.

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The charges are based on evidence linking her to the theft and forging of checks stolen from a local bank. Jones apparently gained access to the checks while she was helping a family member clean the bank after-hours. Those checks were forged with the victim’s signature and used to pay for items at a local grocery store and fuel and miscellaneous items at a local gas station on July 21 and 22, Myers said.

Myers said two more charges are pending from that incident and may be pressed at a later date.

Jones appears to have a history of theft. She has been convicted of various kinds of theft in Florida between 2000 and 2003 and still has to defend herself in court on a number of local theft charges, Myers said.

Previous charges against Jones in Picayune and St. Tammany Parish include petit larceny, uttering forgery and credit card fraud.

On Jan. 10, she allegedly took a credit card from a co-worker and used it at a number of locations in Picayune and St. Tammany Parish, Myers said. Between Jan. 24 and 31, she allegedly stole another co-worker’s credit card at the same job and used it at a number of Picayune stores. She was picked up on warrants for two felony counts of credit card fraud for those incidents, Myers said.

Also between Jan. 28 and Feb. 1, she allegedly took two checks from a client of the business she was employed with at the time and used the checks to pay her personal bills. Jones was picked up on two more warrants for felony uttering forgery and petit larceny.

Between Jan. 29 and Feb. 1 she allegedly stole another credit card and used it at a number of Picayune stores. She was charged with credit card fraud felony and petit larceny and picked up on those warrants.

Jones was arrested on April 8, on all six warrants, Myers said.

In another incident, another credit card is alleged to have been stolen by Jones on Jan. 10, and used to make a number purchases. The victim was notified by her credit card’s fraud department of some unusual purchasing activity. That activity involved paying for three motel rooms, two cell phone bills, airline tickets and items at a bakery, Myers said.

Jones also was picked up in May by Picayune Police on a hold with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Department for the unauthorized use of a credit card. Credit card information was allegedly obtained by Jones while she was working at a convenience store in that parish. A customer made a purchase at the store and the card number was obtained by Jones at that time, Myers said. Jones allegedly used that card information to steal $40.