Waitress arrested in tip scam

Published 3:00 am Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Brewton waitress was arrested this week and stands accused of padding tips included on credit and/or debit cards at a local restaurant.
Ingria Barton, 25, has been charged with five counts of fraudulent use of a credit card after investigators with the Brewton Police Department responded to a complaint from a restaurant customer.
Patrick Caylor, BPD investigator, said the case came to their attention when a customer said their account showed a larger tip than was approved by the customer.
“We got a call from Orleans Po Boy about a customer saying they had been overcharged on a tip on their debit card used to pay their bill,” Caylor said. “When we went to the restaurant to investigate, it was determined that Ms. Barton was the waitress. After conducting our investigation, we had evidence that allowed us to charge her with five counts of fraudulent use of a credit card.”
The five charges against Barton, which are felony charges, may be the beginning of her troubles, Caylor said.
“We are continuing this investigation and we believe there will be more charges in this case,” Caylor said. “We will be contacting other victims during our investigation and looking at other evidence.”
Barton was transported to the Escambia County Detention Center where she was booked on the charges against her. She was released on $25,000 bond.
In other news from the Brewton Police Department, investigators are still looking for suspects in a case revolving around the burglary of a home on Fleming Lane last week.
“A suspect we had been searching for in the case did turn himself into our officers earlier this week,” Caylor said. “We are now looking for another suspect in that same case.”
Timothy Peterson surrendered to Brewton police officers earlier this week and the search is on for Thomas Peterson, who is wanted on charges of receiving stolen property, Caylor said.
Peterson was booked into the Escambia County Detention Center on the burglary and theft charges and remains behind bars in lieu of a $50,000 bond.
Also wanted by Brewton police is a man accused of domestic violence crimes last week at a local motel.
“We are searching for Jermaine Spears on domestic violence charges,” Caylor said. “He is wanted on charges of domestic violence, strangulation and suffocation charges.”
Caylor said a warrant for Spears’ arrest was issued this week stemming from an incident that took place at the Colonial Manor motel.
“We have evidence that the suspect had an altercation with a girl that he had a relationship with for a period of time,” Caylor said. “He is believed to have gotten into an argument with her over a comment and it escalated. We believe he took her to a room at the Colonial Manor where he is suspected of causing her bodily harm.”
Caylor said anyone with information on the location of Thomas Peterson or Jermaine Spears is asked to contact the Brewton Police Department at 867-3212.

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