TEXARKANA, Texas -- A man is charged with unlawfully intercepting electronic communications and two counts of deceptive trade practice for allegedly forwarding a competitor's phone calls to his own number.
Kerry Rowland, 35, was arrested Monday by Texarkana Texas Police Department and booked into the Bi-State jail. His bond was set at a total of $300,000.
The investigation started in September when Rowland, who owns a local fence company, showed up at a competitor's business. He said he wanted to speak to one of the owners about a job but was told they weren't there at that moment, according to police.
Rowland then allegedly asked to use the business telephone to make a quick phone call. An employee handed him the cordless phone, Rowland allegedly hit a few keys on the receiver, handed it back without talking to anyone on the other end and left the business.
Not long after that, the business started to notice that they weren't getting any phone calls. They contacted the phone company and asked them to open a trouble ticket.
A few days later, they learned the phones were working properly but calls had allegedly been forwarded to Rowland's business number.
Detective Warren Smith began investigating the case and used the victim's phone records to contact people who had tried to call them during this time. It was eventually learned that Rowland had intercepted 26 calls during this time and represented himself as the victim's business, police allege.
TTPD says Smith discovered that Rowland had bid on, completed and been paid for multiple jobs that he likely obtained only because he allegedly misled the the customers into believing that they were dealing with the victim's business instead of his own.
After a lengthy investigation, Smith believed he had enough evidence of criminal activity on Rowland's part to get warrants from a judge.