GREENSBORO, NC -- 2WTK was there when Thomas Jeffrey Hayes turned himself in Wednesday on yet another charge of obtaining property under false pretenses.
The locksmith is charged again this week with new counts of obtaining property by false pretenses. A judge gave him a $20,000 bond. Hayes bonded out and is once again free.
This latest case is from a viewer who saw our story on Hayes last week and asked for help getting her money back. Last week's story focused on keys and safe codes Hayes bought from Southern Safes & Vaults, Inc back in December 2013 and January of this year. He owed the company $470.
Investigators say they see a pattern of Hayes ordering product or contracting to do business knowing he is not going to pay or do the work. This latest case is several hundred dollars as well. Last week, Hayes posted bail was was free. If Hayes isn't in jail, it means he's free to be hired by you.
Hayes operates under a couple of different names: American Locksmith Enterprises is one of them. When you look at his website and scroll down you will see a symbol and the claim that Hayes is a member of ALOA: Associated Locksmiths of America. 2WTK called to see if that was indeed true. And the association says they have no record of Thomas Jeffrey Hayes or any of his company names.
Viewer Geri Bressler got in touch with the association too and then on facebook asked "If prosecuting him for being a scheme artist isn't feasible, maybe they can get him on a little false advertising?"
When I asked the department about this, they said false advertising is a misdemeanor which could be lumped in there, but the warrants out for him now on these two cases are felonies. 2WTK has been doing stories on Hayes since May of last year. Quite often, we get money back for people.
But it seems there are always more people who haven't seen the stories and are now out money. This is one of those stories you need to share with your neighbors. Hayes uses variations of his name and has used Amazing Grace Locksmith and American Locksmith Enterprises among other names.
2WTK has seen Hayes in handcuffs before. May 2013 we found Hayes and alerted authorities to where he was living. They arrested him on unrelated fraud charges.