Its come down to this. A FELONY!?!? Law makers need to stop this crap!
CONTINUED: Criminal prosecutions soar in rent-to-own sector | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.comA traffic stop landed Antonio Walker in Norfolk Circuit Court in September.
Walker, a passenger in a vehicle, discovered he was wanted when police ran his name through their database, according to testimony.
Walker was arrested, fingerprinted and booked into Norfolk City Jail.
His charge? A rental store, ColorTyme, claimed in court that Walker had not completely paid for, or returned, a dining room set worth $1,200 after months of missed payments and ignored phone messages.
Walker had a powerful incentive to settle the matter – a guilty verdict could mean jail, court costs, restitution and a felony conviction to stain his record for future employers.
Walker pleaded not guilty. He told a judge the furniture was too big for his home and he had already returned it.
A growing number of people who fall behind or disregard lease payments on household goods and do not return the merchandise are being charged with felonies by prosecutors, according to a Pilot analysis of Virginia Supreme Court data.