Scam lands teen in jail

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 14, 2006

AHOSKIE – Cellular telephones are all the rage, perhaps too trendy for an Ahoskie youth to apparently pass-up an illegal opportunity to hopefully strike it rich.

Instead, an alleged scam has landed him behind bars.

Travis Lamar Lewter, 16, is currently jailed under a $200,000 bond in Vance County on charges stemming from a cell phone scam in Ahoskie.

Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh said Lewter would remain in Vance County until just prior to his September 19 court date in Winton.

Warrants on file charged Lewter with 28 counts of obtaining property by false pretense.

The alleged scam began to surface sometimes in the early part of July, according to Chief Fitzhugh.

“We were working closely with Alltell on this case,” Fitzhugh said. “Somehow, our suspect was able to obtain activation codes for Alltell cell phones.”

Fitzhugh said Lewter apparently used those codes to activate cell phones whose minutes had expired on pre-paid plans.

“It was a pretty ingenious idea, that is up until he got caught,” Fitzhugh noted.

Ahoskie Police Detective Sgt. Jeremy Roberts handled the investigation. Fitzhugh said Alltell is to be praised for the tremendous amount of assistance they provided in helping to crack the case which led Roberts to make an arrest.

That arrest occurred on Sept. 8 in Vance County where Lewter surrendered to authorities at the Vance County Sheriff’s Office.

Fitzhugh said Lewter had moved from Ahoskie to Vance County just as Roberts was completing his local investigation.

“We here at the Ahoskie Police Department as well as officials with Alltell are pleased with the outcome of this investigation,” Fitzhugh concluded.