Man nabbed for impersonating an employee and running up tab
When the man they knew as “Rich” came in again and again to buy expensive tools on a business account, employees at Meek’s got suspicious. Rich said he was with Westridge Homes, a Gardnerville real estate agency, and that he needed to buy a generator. Then he came back to buy another one, according to Carson City Sheriff’s reports.
So Meek’s employees called Westridge Homes to check. They said they didn’t know Rich and he did not have permission to buy tools on their tab. Westridge called the Sheriff’s Department, said sheriff’s reports.
When Rich came in for a generator and a drill, Meek’s offered to deliver them to his house. He gave them a Carson City address, 1009 E. Second St. When the delivery truck arrived at about 1 p.m. Friday, Deputy Jason Gault was behind it in his patrol car.
After Rich, who turned out to be Richard Lynn Bowlen of Gardnerville, signed for the generator, he was arrested.
“I read him his rights and he admitted to it,” said Gault on Saturday.
The Carson City Sheriff’s Department asked the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office to get a statement from Westridge Homes. The faxed message confirmed Bowlen has no permission to purchase items on their tab and does not work for them.
A wants and warrants check revealed Bowlen had an outstanding warrant out of Douglas County for failure to appear in court.
According to reports, Bowlen is suspected of making similar purchases from Meek’s on three or four different occasions.
“Three days in a row that I know of,” Gault said.
Bowlen, 34 years old and unemployed, was arrested Friday afternoon on suspicion of felony obtaining property on false pretenses and on the warrant. His bail was set at $20,000.
It’s unknown if Bowlen worked for Westridge in the past – the real estate agency could not be reached for comment Saturday.
Meek’s Branch Manager Dennis Hudson said the value of the tools was between $3,600 and $4,000.
Hudson said he was proud of his employees who became suspicious of the man using a Gardnerville account at the Carson store as Meek’s also has a store in Gardnerville.
“Certain sales are very obvious,” Hudson said. “When a guy comes in to the Carson yard and buys expensive material and charges it to an account in Gardnerville, it’s kind of obvious.”