Jayess man charged with fabricating armed robbery

Published 5:00 am Friday, October 15, 2004

A Jayess man who told police he was robbed by knifepoint wasarrested Wednesday and charged with perpetrating a hoax.

Bobby Joe Fuller, 34, of 1475 Highway 27 South, was charged withfiling a false police report Wednesday. Fuller, authorities said,told him he was robbed by a man at his convenience store Oct.8.

The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum sentence of a $1,000fine and six months in jail, Lawrence County Sheriff Joel Thamessaid. Fuller is free on bond pending a hearing next month inJustice Court.

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The sheriff said Fuller admitted the alleged hoax while beinginterrogated by the sheriff’s office and agents of the MississippiHighway Patrol’s Mississippi Bureau of Investigation division.

“I grew up in the area and I know Bobby, so I felt it would bebetter if an outside agency was present during the questioning,”Thames said of the state’s involvement.

Thames said investigators had worked the case since it wasreported. He said several discrepancies made them question thereport.

“After arriving on the scene, I was immediately suspicious ofthe alleged crime,” he said.

Fuller did not indicate a reason for the alleged hoax duringquestioning Wednesday, Thames said.

A customer made the initial emergency call, the sheriffsaid.

“A woman came in, and he was laying on the floor as if he washurt. She called 911,” Thames said.

During questioning at the store on Oct. 8, Fuller said a manwith a knife came up behind him as he was opening the store andattacked him. The alleged thief took more than $700 in cash duringthe confrontation, the sheriff said Fuller claimed.

As a precaution, Thames said, Fuller was transported to LawrenceCounty Hospital for observation and to have several small scratcheson his arm – allegedly made by the knife – examined.

“The scratches were very minor. It appears to us they were madeby his fingernails,” the sheriff said, adding that the $700 was”just a figure he came up with.”

Thames said the worst part of the alleged hoax is that itprobably scared residents of the rural Jayess-Topeka area.

“What’s bad about things like this is that it upsets thecommunity,” he said. “People living by themselves in a quietcommunity like this, especially the elderly, can be easily scaredwhen they hear reports of things like this happening here.”