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Man Arrested After Taking Money For Jobs He Didn't Do

Last updated on Wednesday, January 18, 2012

(BLOOMFIELD) - 30-year-old Billy Joe Utt, of Dugger, is facing four counts of theft after he allegedly promised to do maintenance and tree-trimming chores for five different Bloomfield residents who had advanced him money for the jobs.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Greene Superior Court by Bloomfield Town Marshal Kenneth Tharp on Friday, Utt, is accused of telling homeowner James C. Miller that he needed money on Nov. 16, 2011 to purchase gasoline so he could go see his mother in the hospital.

Utt was given $30 and promised to trim a tree in Miller's yard the next day. He showed up the following day with a chainsaw, but told Miller he was repairing a woman's garage door and would return when he finished that job. He came back later that night and said he would return the following day. Utt also asked Miller for an additional $15 to purchase food.

Miller then wrote him a check payable to Petro Plus gas station.

Utt never returned to do the work.

On Nov. 22, Utt is alleged to have gone to the Howard Smith residence on West Mechanic Street and said he would clean the gutters and trim the trees for $45.

The next day he returned to Smith's residence and stated, "his mother was gravely ill and he needed money so that he could go see her in the hospital," according to the probable cause affidavit. Smith refused to give him any more money.

On Nov. 28, he allegedly went to the David Hunter residence on North Seminary Street and identified himself as a tree trimmer and offered to trim a front yard tree for $45.

Utt told Hunter that he needed the money paid in advance because he had to go purchase a chain for his chainsaw.

Hunter paid him after Utt gave him his driver's license number and he promised to return later the same day, but never did.

Utt also promised to do work for Lowell Sparks and James W. Gilmore, both whom live on North Harrison Street.

He was paid $60 each by Sparks and Gilmore to trim a tree and haul off the brush, according to court records.

According to police as of Jan. 9, none of the work promised by Utt had been completed.

Utt also faces a separate charge of felony receiving stolen property that was filed last week after an alleged theft of two prepared hot dogs from the Picnic Basket service station in Bloomfield.

Utt turned himself in at the Greene County Jail on Tuesday and had planned to post bond, but was notified by authorities that a petition to revoke a suspended sentence had been filed.

He is being held without bond.

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