A 36-year-old man who is no stranger to law-enforcement officials turned himself in July 31 at the Orange County Jail.
Jeremiah Hutto, whose last known address is in Winter Garden, had been sought by Windermere and Oakland police for his alleged involvement in various scams.
“Mr. Hutto has made a business out of scamming residents and others in West Orange County for far too long,” Windermere Police Chief Dave Ogden said on his Facebook page just hours before Hutto turned himself in. “Jeremiah regularly offers to conduct random work (tree services, yard work, etc.,) around the residence and asks for monies up front or during the course of the work. Once given money, he leaves to never return.”
On July 30, Windermere Police Detective John Allen obtained an arrest warrant for Hutto for charges of exploiting an elderly person and petit theft. More cases may follow, Ogden said.
Allen, a veteran law-enforcement official who joined the Windermere Police Department on June 9, has been working on solving various older cases.
The chief initially issued this Facebook post about Hutto on March 18: “Unfortunately, one of our elderly residents was most likely scammed out of some monies by an unknown individual in the area offering to do work around her residence on Lake Butler. This occurred around 1 p.m. today. At this time, all we have is that we are looking for a white male, bald head, medium build and in a white vehicle. The male offered that he was working with J&D Lake Services and needed a couple hundred dollars to start the job and that he would return. A handwritten note with erroneous numbers was given for his contact.”
Oakland Police recently obtained arrest warrants for Hutto and another man, Tyler Green, 24, of Winter Garden, for charges of grand theft. The charges stem from a situation that began June 5, when a 34-year-old Oakland man gave Hutto and Green a check for $600, or half of the cost of a weed-clearing job. Hutto and Green apparently started the job, but never returned to complete it, according to a police report.
Police still are looking for Green. At the scene of the alleged scam in Oakland, he was driving a white, 2008 Chevrolet Aero with license plate number J626AU.
The Orange County Clerk of Courts lists nine criminal records for Green. He has been arrested in the past on charges that include burglary, grand theft and attempted dealing in stolen property.
Hutto has 29 criminal records going back to 1995. Over the years, he has been arrested on charges such as battery, disorderly conduct, driving with a suspended license, aggravated assault, stalking, burglary, grand theft, armed robbery and false imprisonment.
Oakland Police Detective Brandon McDonnell said he was surprised Hutto turned himself in.
“Absolutely,” he said. “Who knows why he did it.”
Windermere-area residents who might have been scammed by Hutto are asked to call Allen at (407) 876-3757. Oakland residents who might have been victimized by Hutto and Green are asked to call McDonnell at (407) 656-9797.
Ogden encourages residents to: make sure contractors are licensed and bonded; check Web sites, such as sunbiz.org, for official business records; never provide cash up front for services; always call police about suspicious incidents.