By: E&P Staff
Two local men suspected of posing as newspaper carriers, were arrested Sept. 3, a day before National Newspaper Carrier Day, on charges of petit larceny related to the theft of copies of The Natchez (Miss.) Democrat, the paper reported.
After the Democrat received calls this summer that someone was stealing copies from newsracks and selling them, Democrat Audience Director Sam King saw a man remove a stack of from a vending box and notified police.
Kelvin Dywanna Jones was driving a car that police had stopped for an expired tag, Natchez Police Chief Mike Mullins told the Democrat. Jones’ passenger was Tyrone A. Greene, said to be the man King reported seeing remove the newspapers.
In the car, officers found 42 unrolled copies and eight rolled copies of that day’s edition of the Democrat, four copies of The Clarion-Ledger, from Jackson, three copies of USA Today, a bag of rubber bands and a box of newspaper bags.
Neither Jones, 29 (who also faces charges of having no driver’s license or proof of insurance), nor Greene, 55, was contracted to deliver the Democrat.
Publisher Kevin Cooper was quoted by his paper saying that “newspapers stolen out of our newspaper racks were valued at more than $200,000,” and that Gannett’s Clarion-Ledger and USA Today also reported similar thefts.
Most who paid the two for newspapers are believed to have been unaware they were not contacted carriers. Uncertain readers could check with the paper and, if necessary, arrange legitimate subscriptions.
“For customers who were deceived into paying these criminals, believing they were purchasing the newspaper legitimately, we’ll consider extending credit so they will receive what they paid for – only from a legitimate source,” Cooper said. He added that King did “an excellent job working with the Natchez Police to help catch this person in the act.”