JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — One of the City of Jackson Department of Public Works employees being charged with embezzlement appeared in court Wednesday.
35-year-old Marcus Banks received a $5,000 bond at his initial court appearance.
Banks is accused of stealing more than $14,000 worth of water. He is charged with felony embezzlement.
Percy Watkins is also being charged with embezzlement. His charge is listed as a misdemeanor. Authorities are still trying to determine the amount of water that Watkins may have stolen
The announcement was made about the two arrests during Tuesday night’s city council meeting.
Both men worked as Water Service Representatives for the City of Jackson Public Works Division.
Police said they discovered that Watkins and Banks installed devices that helped them steal water at their homes. The investigation started after a complaint filed by Public Works Director Keisha Powell.
“We worked along with director Powell as well as the city attorney, Ms. Monica Journer. With their assitance we were able to start off with these two arrests. We antipate more arrests will be forthcoming,” Jackson Police Chief Lee Vance said.
Mayor Tony Yarber said this investigation could lead to about 20 to 30 others being fired.
“In some cases we have found where folks have been stealing water that totlled up over the past 7 years to about $14,000,” Mayor Yarber said. “This is our effort to ensure that we are controlling waste and loss, but not only that. To make sure that our citizens are safe and that affordability of water isn’t being passed on to them in an absorbent way because of this waste fraud and abuse.”
Anyone with additional information relating to water theft crimes is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 601-355-8477 or the Jackson Police Department at 601-960-1234.