Three charged with theft scheme in Laurel County

Three people, allegedly involved in a theft scheme in which merchandise was purchased from Laurel County businesses with cold checks, were arrested Tuesday.

Anthony M. Ayers, 39, and his wife, Linda C. Sizemore, 35, of Combs, were arrested after Laurel County sheriff's deputies stopped the silver Dodge pickup truck in which they were traveling on U.S. 25, near London, according to the sheriff's office. Arrested later in the evening was Melissa R. Hill, 55, of Stinnett.

Ayers and Sizemore wrote cold checks on a closed account to two or more businesses in Laurel County for merchandise that included mattresses, carpet, furniture and lumber, according to the sheriff's office. The two then sold the items for cash to a woman on Keve Lane, six miles north of London. The woman allegedly was going to area businesses, picking out items she wanted and then telling Ayers and Sizemore, who would buy the merchandise using cold checks and deliver it to her, the sheriff's office said. A news release from the sheriff's office was not clear about whether Hill was the woman who picked out the merchandise, but the release did identify her as the owner of a mobile home on Keve Lane, where the merchandise was found.

Property belonging to Laurel Carpet, S & K Traders, and 84 Lumber was recovered. Detectives and deputies were still working to identify the owners of other items suspected of being stolen, including a refrigerator, washer and dryer, grill, weed cutter and tools, that were found in the mobile home, according to the sheriff's office.

Ayers and Sizemore were charged with theft by deception for allegedly writing cold checks for less than $10,000, and third-degree forgery. Ayers also was charged on 24 outstanding bench warrants from three counties; Sizemore was also charged on three outstanding bench warrants. Hill was charged with receiving stolen property valued at less than $10,000.

Ayers, Sizemore and Hill were lodged in the Laurel County Detention Center.