DeKalb Police looking for man accused in furniture sale scheme

A local mother says she and her family must sleep on the floor after a store employee sold them a lie.

Samintheia Rutledge said Timothy Patrick, who worked for Furniture and Beyond in Stone Mountain, took more than $1,400 from her in exchange for a dining room set and two bedroom suites last month. Rutledge said Patrick told her he would give her 50 to 60 percent off the products by using his special employee 'family and friends' discount. The problem: the furniture never arrived at Rutledge's home. Officers have issued a warrant for Patrick's arrest, according to DeKalb County Police.

"He has basically devastated my kids," Rutledge said.

Rutledge said she thought the deal would have been a blessing.

"I had no idea it was something like a hookup or he was doing it on the side or he was 'bamboozling' me," Rutledge insisted.  "I didn't feel that way because his manager was there."

Fox 5 spoke with store employees and managers about the situation Friday.

Leslie Rhynes  said Patrick only worked for the store a little over a month. She also said he hasn't reported to work for the last week. As for Rutledge's situation, Rhynes stressed customers should buy items from the counter instead of handing over money to individual employees. Plus, she said the furniture promised to Rutledge was valued at more than $3,000, making the store a victim as well in Patrick's alleged scheme.

"She didn't do business with us. She did business with Timothy," Rhynes said. "If she had done business with us, she wouldn't be owed anything. She would have everything she paid for."

The store's manager said this is the first incident of this kind that has occurred at the business. He also told Fox 5 Rutledge met Patrick in the parking lot when she gave him the money.

Rutledge denied meeting Patrick outside of the store. She plans to hire an attorney if the store doesn't send the furniture or refund her money.