Originally created 07/01/00

Duo faces charges in theft case



A Hephzibah mother and daughter with big plans to house the homeless were behind bars Friday, charged with bilking a Krispy Kreme store out of 600 dozen doughnuts.

Earlier this year, Margaret Jones, 52, announced plans to shelter teen-age parents, domestic abuse victims, the disabled and hard-times sufferers by allowing them to repair used trailer homes. Her nonprofit organization - Housing Opportunity Manpower Employment - would rely on volunteers, money donations and elbow grease, she had explained.

At 11:30 a.m. Friday, she and Pamela Young, 29, were arrested and charged with felony theft by deception. They are being held in the Richmond County jail on $2,050 bond each.

According to the Richmond County Sheriff's Department, the two wrote a $927 check from a joint account to the doughnut shop at 1644 Gordon Highway. Managers were asked to wait two weeks to deposit the check, only to find payment had been stopped, an incident report said.

Krispy Kreme sold them the doughnuts as part of a fund-raising program, which would have allowed Ms. Jones and Ms. Young to resell the pastries to the public, an investigator said.

"According to them, it was to be used to make money for the homeless," Investigator Luther Gaskill said. "Basically, it appears they got in way over their heads."

In her attempts to secure land for the housing venture, Ms. Jones had met with Mayor Bob Young at least twice to discuss using city property to store the dilapidated trailers, which would be given to clients in return for fixing them.

"They're going to earn it," she said in March. "Nobody gets anything for free."

Reach Johnny Edwards at (706) 823-3225 or jedwards92@hotmail.com.