Bad timing for fraudsters in Fayetteville

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2 deputies on lunch break spot suspicious pair; arrests follow

Two men acting in a suspicious way attracted the attention of two Fayette County Sheriff’s investigators on July 31 and were soon in custody on more than a dozen counts of financial identity fraud.

Roy W. Pruitt, 44, of Atlanta, and Devonte Watts, 20, of Stone Montain, were charged with 13 counts of financial identity fraud and two counts of second degree forgery, according to Fayette County Jail records.

Sheriff Barry Babb said two detectives eating lunch in south Fayetteville on July 31 noticed Watts walking at a fast pace as he exited a bank and entered a vehicle that soon stopped at an ATM machine. Pruitt, the driver of the vehicle, exited the vehicle to make a transaction.

“Something just didn’t seem right about it,” Babb said.

Given the suspicious nature of what they saw, the deputies called in a traffic stop on the vehicle.

Once the vehicle was pulled over, the deputy smelled marijuana on Pruitt, Babb said, adding that the vehicle had no insurance.

But what was also found in the vehicle were numerous financial and other documents such as checks and drivers licenses belonging to people from Georgia and other states, Babb noted.

The investigation revealed that days earlier one of the men opened a fraudulent account at the bank. The two returned on July 31 to make a second deposit.

Babb said Watts and Pruitt had set up similar accounts in other metro Atlanta locations.

Pruitt and Watts are being held without bond at the Fayette County Jail.