A man is under arrest after police said he targeted truck drivers in an illegal booting scheme as they slept.
Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes was in South Fulton County, where police said Jahdiel Israel booted the drivers and then charged them hundreds of dollars to take the boots off.
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Police said Isreal watched truckers park along a curb, waited for them to fall asleep, then booted tires around 3 a.m. He then told the drivers they would have to pay $600 to get the boot removed.
Fernandes talked to victim Latimore Rogers, who said that he heard someone tap on the side of his truck early Sunday morning.
“He said ‘We got to boot your truck. You got to pay us before I can take this boot off,’” Rogers said. “He had boots on a lot of trucks. A LOT of trucks.”
Isreal asked Rogers to fork over $575.
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Rogers was wary of the scheme and called the company that the truckers were parking in front of, Big Clean Energy. The business in the past had allowed truckers to park outside free of charge.
After the company reaffirmed they’d never charge drivers to park, Rogers called the police.
Investigators realized that Israel had a lot more victims, some of whom actually paid the money.
Another victim told Fernandes his company paid Israel $750.
“Me and the other driver started talking and said, ‘You can’t do that. That’s like holding us hostage because you put stuff on our truck.’ He was like, ‘Nah, not the way y’all was parked. This is Georgia, we do what we want to do out here.’”
Israel is now facing two charges, theft by deception and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
Police didn’t have to look too far to find him. He was parking in a white truck in the same parking lot where he was booting drivers.
An officer decided to drive through the truck stop and found him there, waiting to prey on other drivers.
At first, Israel told police he worked for the city of South Fulton. He then said he worked for the City of Atlanta.
Police also determined that he had a warrant out of Clayton County for failure to appear on a traffic ticket.