'Homer Bandit' gets seven-year sentence

A San-Diego area man will be sentenced to seven years and four months in prison after pleading guilty to nine felonies that include making fraudulent purchases at Home Depot stores. According to a story reported by the City News Service, Joel Booth, age 39, used counterfeit checks and identification cards to purchase items at a number of Home Depot stores in San Diego and Riverside counties. Police investigators nicknamed him “The Homer Bandit,” after Home Depot’s original mascot.

Booth used both real and fake names to manufacture checks, investigators said, using account information stolen from victims’ mail boxes and/or U.S. postal drop boxes. Almost 30 businesses lost thousands of dollars to Booth’s scam, authorities said. 

Police caught up with Booth on March 10, 2011 at a Ross Dress for Less store in Santee, just east of San Diego. He was trying to return items he purchased at a Ross store in La Quinta. 

Booth has agreed to plead guilty to burglary and multiple counts of unlawful use of someone's personal identifying information. 


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