Sacto 9-1-1
June 13, 2011
Folsom fast-food restaurants allege scam, two arrested

Folsom police arrested Katheran Willis, 24, and James Armstrong, 41, yesterday on suspicion of stealing cash from fast-food restaurants with a simple scam.

According to the Folsom Police Department, Armstrong called the restaurants and pretended to be from their corporate headquarters. He told managers that the restaurants overcharged a customer by $80 and that she would be returning to collect a refund. Then, Willis would go the restaurant, and staff would hand her the cash.

They repeated this scheme at a Subway, a Togo's, a Straw Hat Pizza, and an It's a Grind, according to the department. When Armstrong called the Smash Burger on East Bidwell Street in Folsom, the manager recognized the scam from a police department press release circulated by the Folsom Chamber of Commerce.

He called police, who observed a gold Lexus circling the parking lot outside Smash Burger that matched descriptions of a vehicle seen at the other restaurants.

Police arrested Willis and Armstrong around 4:15 p.m. They determined that the car had been stolen in Sacramento.

The pair was charged with possession of stolen property, burglary, and conspiracy and booked into Sacramento County Jail. They are scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. on June 14.

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