0

Albany man accused of renting bogus condos

Albany man said to have rented non-existent property

Kelly Hugh Kierce (Special Photo)

Kelly Hugh Kierce (Special Photo)

ALBANY — An Albany man was arrested Wednesday on charges relating to rentals of non-existent condominiums, police officials say.

Tamiko Whitlock, detective with the Dougherty County Police Department, said Kelly Hugh Kierce, 38, is suspeced of renting bogus condominiums in Panama City, Fla., and even had a Facebook page to advertise his service. According to Whitlock, officers began their investigation when some of Kierce’s “disappointed” clients complained to the DCP.

“He rented the condos,” Whitlock said,”But there no condos. One customer was half way to Panama City when she noticed that her keys had no notches in them. They weren’t real keys. Other customers found nothing but a stretch of land.”

Whitlock said Kierce apparently was a “likeable” person.

“That’s why it was easy for him to persuade people to give him money,” Whitlock said. “When his customers asked for their money back, he said he’d give it to them but he never did.”

Kierce was arrested at his mother’s home on Ledo Road in Albany, Whitlock said, charged with five counts of misdemeanor theft by deception and transported to the Dougherty County jail.

Whitlock said that while the DCP has heard from five of Kierce’s “customers,” she suspects there are more. Anyone who may have entered into a rental agreement for a condo from Kierce is asked to contact the Dougherty County Police Department at (229) 430-6600.