Pastor accused of passing bad checks arrested at a hotel

A man accused of writing bad checks at car dealerships across metro Atlanta was arrested for similar crimes at a hotel Tuesday.

Dejarius Deion Thurman, a self-described pastor, was arrested on theft of services charges after police say he wrote eight bounced checks for his five rooms at the downtown Marriott Marquis. He was already accused of writing bad checks at dealerships in Cobb, DeKalb and Gwinnett counties.

The arrest came shortly after a news report aired about Thurman’s alleged crimes.

According to a police report, a hotel employee called Thurman’s bank when he noticed suspicious behavior and irregular spending habits. The bank told the hotel employee that Thurman’s account had been closed two months ago.

Thurman’s business partner, Jasmine Brown, was asked to use a cashier’s check to pay his $4,500 bill, according to the police report. The employee called police when Brown said she couldn’t come up with the money.

Two of the four cars Thurman allegedly purchased with bad checks were also at the hotel, Channel 2 Action News reported. The other two were recovered.

According to Channel 2, Thurman would pick out used cars late in the day and write checks on a closed account. He allegedly wrote one check for $18,000 at Jim Ellis Automotive’s DeKalb location and another for $24,000 at a Cadillac dealership.

Thurman hasn’t been charged in the alleged car dealership thefts.

Jim Ellis Automotive Vice President Mark Frost said since most dealerships are self-insured, the thefts are a total loss and make it difficult to give raises and make new hires.

“It’s kind of like a virus,” Frost told the news station. “They mutate and they’re good at what they do and they learn what our process is and go around one or two of the hurdles that we normally have in place.”

Gwinnett, Hall and Stephens counties also have warrants out for Thurman’s arrest, according to Fulton County jail records. Thurman’s court appearance for the hotel-related theft charges is scheduled for Aug. 29.