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Local man accused of exploiting elderly relative, authorities say
Thomas Mitchell McCollum
Thomas Mitchell McCollum

A Forsyth County man was charged with exploitation of an elderly person this week after allegations that he extorted an elderly family member were brought forward to authorities.

According to Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Cpl. Doug Rainwater, Thomas Mitchell McCollum, 28, was taken into custody by sheriff’s office deputies on Sunday, Jan. 5, after authorities were called to a residence in west Forsyth to resolve a domestic dispute.

A 73-year-old victim told deputies that her son, McCollum, had been taking and hiding her electronic items, TVs and iPad, and would demand money from her in “intimidating and threatening text messages” before returning the items.

“If the demands he sent were not met, then he would demand more money with a deadline for the money to be paid to him otherwise the amount owned would rise again,” a sheriff’s office incident report states.

Deputies also learned that from Jan. 3 to Jan 5, McCollum had allegedly blocked the woman’s vehicle from exiting her driveway, until she agreed to “go to the ATM with him and [withdraw] money for him.”

“All tactics and texts were corroborated through [the victim’s] phone,” the report states.

McCollum was arrested at the residence on Sunday and taken to the Forsyth County Jail.

According to Rainwater, McCollum has been charged with one felony count for exploitation/intimidation of an elderly person.

As of Monday evening, McCollum was held in custody under no bond.