Columbus arrests man accused of Bi-Lo advertising scam

Published 2:06 pm Friday, April 14, 2017

COLUMBUS – The Columbus Police Department took out arrest warrants and traveled to Granite Falls, N.C. to arrest a man suspected of fraud in the Columbus and Landrum areas.

Thomas Scott Bailey, 57, of 3696 Old Petra Mill Rd., Granite Falls was arrested and charged with attempting to obtain property by false pretenses, according to the Columbus Police Department. 

Thomas Scott Bailey

Columbus Police Chief Chris Beddingfield said his department took out arrest warrants on Bailey on April 11, and on April 12 Columbus officers traveled to Caldwell County, N.C. where Bailey was in custody and transported him back to the Polk County Jail for processing.

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Bailey’s charges in Columbus are related to alleged fraudulent activities involving advertisement sales.

Bailey was identified through a photograph last week as wanted for selling advertisements for businesses to be placed in the windows of the Columbus and Landrum Bi-Lo stores. Bailey allegedly charged $275 or more for the advertisements but never placed the advertisements for the businesses locally.

Bi-Lo representatives said advertisements at the stores has to be done through the store chain’s corporate office in Jacksonville, Fla.

The Tryon Police Department has also filed charges against Bailey. Tryon Police Chief Jeff Arrowood said last week that Bailey will be charged in Tryon with one felony count of obtaining property by false pretense and one felony count of attempting to obtain property by false pretense.

Beddingfield said Bailey also has a $25,000 fugitive warrant for his arrest issued from the state of Virginia and he is also wanted by the state of South Carolina.

Beddingfield urges anyone in the public who has questions regarding someone soliciting money to call the Columbus Police Department at 828-894-5464.

Beddingfield also said the Better Business Bureau is a great resource to check with before conducting business with someone.

As of Thursday, Bailey was still being held under a $20,000 secured bond in Polk County.