A Boone County man who allegedly duped an elderly woman out of money and stole her credit card and used it in Baxter County has been arrested. The purchases made by 38-year-old Joshua Edward Barrs totaled nearly $800.
According to the probable cause statement in the case, the victim told Harrison police she found Barrs sleeping in his car on her property. She says Barrs told her his dad had just died in Georgia and he needed a place to stay to save money to make the trip for the funeral. He says a friend had referred him to the victim. The victim rented him an apartment after he told her he had a steady job in Alpena.
Two days later, the victim says Barrs handed her a wadded up check for $300 which turned out to be from a closed account. Neither the name on the check or whom the check was made out to was Barrs. It’s alleged Barrs asked the victim, who is nearly blind and couldn’t read who the check was made out to, to cash it for him. He allegedly told the victim the check was for $600 and she could keep $300 for rent. The victim, since it was Sunday and the bank was closed, went to the ATM and withdrew $300 plus an extra $150 for travel expenses.
A few days later, the victim’s bank called her to ask if she had made purchases in Mountain Home which she had not. Video surveillance from the Mountain Home Walmart showed a man, later identified as Barrs, using the victim’s credit card to purchase items totaling just over $650. Tattoos on the man’s hands saying “Sanity Killz” led law enforcement to do a search on Facebook where they found a profile with the same name belonging to a male with the same tattoos. The male has a second profile with the name of Josh Barrs where more tattoos seen by the security camera can be found in pictures posted to the account.
Investigators say the stolen credit card was also used to make a purchase of just over $116 in Henderson and $18 in Harrison.
Barrs is charged with felony counts of forgery in the second degree and theft of property, and a misdemeanor charge of fraudulent use of a credit card. He also faces a sentence enhancement for being a habitual offender. He is currently free on a $25,000 bond.