FORSYTH COUNTY — Authorities have arrested a Cumming man suspected of posing as a cable worker to gain access to homes to steal prescription medications.
William Charles Arnold, 43, was charged with theft by taking, according to Cpl. Robin Regan, a spokesman for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
Arnold reportedly dressed as a Comcast employee and disconnected cable services before telling the residents — primarily elderly — he was responding to service problems.
“He is a former employee. He did have Comcast identification, and he seemed to have a working knowledge of their systems,” Regan said.
According to sheriff’s reports, on Nov. 6 an alleged Comcast worker told a resident at a home on Middle Creek Way near Nuckolls Road and Buford Highway (Hwy. 20) that neighbors were having trouble with their cable.
When he asked the man to check his television, it didn’t work.
The suspect then said the “panel for the cable is normally in a closet. They checked the panel, at which time [the alleged worker] stepped outside. [The resident] said that while [he] was outside the cable came back on.
“When [the suspect] came back in he asked [the resident] to go upstairs and make sure the other televisions were working.”
This was when prescription narcotics were reportedly taken from the kitchen cabinet.
“[The resident] then called Comcast, which confirmed they did not have any employees in the area that day,” the report stated.
Arnold supposedly used this method to take pills from several houses, according to reports. Sometimes he stole the whole bottle. Other times, he helped himself to just a few pills.
The resident at Middle Creek Way reported the incident Nov. 7, Regan said.
The deputy investigating this theft followed up on “numerous leads” and spoke “to witnesses and neighbors. The deputy obtained identifying information on Arnold and, with the help of other deputies, began surveillance in the area.”
He caught up with and arrested Arnold on Tuesday. He posted a $1,155 bond later that day.
Regan said additional charges, likely felony, are expected.
“Initially, [Arnold] gave a soft denial but admitted he had a drug problem and stated the only thing he ever took was pills,” a report stated. “[Arnold] admitted to lying to victims by saying he worked for Comcast and then going into their homes and taking prescription pills.”
During a search of Arnold’s white pickup truck, a deputy found two Comcast badges, a shirt, hat and jacket.”
Alex Horwitz, a spokesman for the cable company, said no current Comcast employees were involved.
The sheriff’s office is seeking information from anyone else who believes Arnold may have taken items from their homes. They are encouraged to call (770) 781-3087.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.