Store manager sets up sting to bust identity theft suspect

by: Diana Davis Updated:

Willie Green, 28, of Locust Grove was led away in handcuffs by Jefferson police, arrested for felony credit card fraud after being caught in the furniture store sting.

JEFFERSON, Ga. - A suspected identity thief is in jail after a local furniture store manager says he set up a sting with police.

The manager of Real Deals Furniture in Jefferson told Channel 2's Diana Davis the suspect tried to get away with $4,500 worth of furniture, but instead he got a surprise arrest.

Willie Green, 28, of Locust Grove was led away in handcuffs by Jefferson police, arrested for felony credit card fraud after being caught in the furniture store sting.

"He knew he was done, so it was awesome," store manager Tim Reed told Davis.

The staff at the furniture store told Channel 2's Diana Davis that Green called the store a week or so ago to order a $4,500 bedroom set over the phone.

He provided credit card number that he said belonged to his uncle. Then Green said he would come to the store in a few days to pick up the set for his uncle.

Within hours Reed said the credit card company called the store.

"We find out from the credit card company it's a fraudulent card, stolen identity case," Reed told Davis.

From that moment, the sting was on.

When Green showed up with an unknowing delivery driver at the loading dock Wednesday, Reed called 911.

Police took Green away in cuffs. Reed said Green appeared dumbfounded.

"He basically was caught and he knew it," Reed told Davis.

The store manager told Davis that Green also had a little girl, possibly his daughter, waiting in the car outside. He guessed she was only about 3 years old.

"He obviously wasn't concerned, because he didn't even tell us the child was out in the car. He didn't tell police 'til later in the interview," Reed said.

The store manager and police contacted the victim of the identity theft, Arthur Henning of Indiana.

Channel 2 Action News contacted him late Wednesday by phone.

"I am very happy and I told them anything else they need from me, I am more than happy to provide. If it means I have to drive to Georgia, I would do so," Henning said.

Green was booked into the Jackson County Jail. There is no word on what happened to the little girl in the car.

Reed told Davis he believes Green may be involved in similar schemes with other metro furniture stores.

"The MO is he will call and order furniture to an address. Usually the house is for sale. They are told they can't go in cause the floors are being done. The furniture is in the driveway, then it's gone," Reed said.

No one from the Jefferson Police Department returned Davis' phone calls. She was not able to confirm if police believe Green is the same man involved in those other schemes.