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Police: Buyer beware at yard sales
Authorities investigate rash of stolen items, credit cards
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After two men were allegedly selling items bought with other people’s credit cards at yard sales, police are warning buyers to beware.

“When you’re buying at a yard sale, it’s kind of like buying a product with no guarantee,” Oakwood Police Sgt. Danny Sridej said.

Jacob Lawrence Barnes, 22 and Ross Randolph Sweat, 19, were charged last month with multiple counts of financial transaction card theft, credit card fraud, attempted identity theft and entering auto.

Sridej said the department believes the two men were selling victims’ items and items purchased with victims’ credit cards for quick cash at yard sales.

The two men are still incarcerated at the Hall County Jail.

For frequent yard sale shoppers, Sridej said it is extremely difficult to know because the merchandise is not marked.

“In this situation, they can take from the store or buy with a stolen credit card,” he said.

Since the initial arrest, Sridej said more people have come forward regarding his department’s investigation and the tandem Hall County Sheriff’s Office investigation.

The Sheriff’s Office worked the alleged entering auto cases found frequently in North Hall.

A Oakwood Police report for Sweat and Barnes regarding alleged identity and financial transaction card fraud lists 20 potential victims

“Based on my investigation, I even linked some of the IDs and credit cards coming from Kentucky,” Sridej said.

Barnes is formerly from Winston, Ga., and Sweat is originally from Murray, Ky.

Sridej advised yard sale buyers to consider the items offered when considering a purchase.

“If you see something new at a yard sale, that should be a red flag,” the sergeant said.