The Moorpark Police Department, with the help of the Thousand Oaks Police Department, arrested a 31-year-old man last week they believe swindled residents of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties out of several thousand dollars, according to a statement issued Tuesday by the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.
Law officials said Theodore "Ted" Diamond of Thousand Oaks told potential fencing customers that he was the owner of Guardian Fence, an actual county fencing company. He allegedly took cash or had his victims write checks to cover fence installation costs to him but never returned to complete the work.
When it happened to some neighbors who live on Seitz Court in Moorpark, they called Guardian Fence and learned that the person who took their checks was actually a subcontractor with no authority to represent the company, make bids or collect funds, the Sheriff's statement said. That's when they called the police.
Detectives from the Moorpark Police Department found the true owners of Guardian Fence had occasionally employed Diamond off and on for several months. The owners told police that, at Diamond's urging, they subscribed to a marketing service that provided leads to potential customers, but without authorization, Diamond arranged to have his and his girlfriend's name replace the proper point of contact, which the report went on to say, was how he obtained names of customers/victims.
During the week of Aug. 20, Diamond misrepresented himself as an employ to at least seven victims, making a bid to perform work and recieving a personal check made out to him or cash without ever completeing the work, according to the Sheriff's statement.
Detectives located and arrested Diamond for theft by false pretenses on Aug. 21. He was interviewed and booked into custody at the Ventura County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail, the statement said.
After his arrest, detectives continued to investigate and learned of additional victims throughout Ventura and Santa Barabara counties and found Diamond was wanted on the East Coast for the same type of activity, the Sheriff's Department said.
The Department is asking anyone who thinks he or she might be a victim of Diamond's to call the Moorpark Police Department at 805-532-2700.