Local News

Apr 24, 2014 5:54 PM by Sara Donchey

Island Realtors Concerned About Possible Scammer

PORT ARANSAS -- Anthony James Garceau was arrested in Port Aransas this week after realtors tipped off police that he had outstanding warrants in other counties.

But locals don't know him by that name; they know him as Tony Stiles.

Keith Donley is one of several realtors who say they've met Garceau--also known as Tony Stiles--earlier last year.

Garceau approached Donley and he said he wanted to buy one of his million dollar listings.

But Garceau was unusually pushy with Donley and with a handful of his associates.

"(He said) we've gotta do this, let's push, let's advance this," Donley said. "(He wanted to) forget about the safeguards, the protocols that are typically in place."

Garceau made a play for a house in a high-end Port Aransas neighborhood for $1.2 million dollars. But every time Donley asked him to come up with the money, Garceau came up with an excuse instead.

"He couldn't get the money," Donley said. "He wanted to wire it all at one time, he didn't have time to be bothered with it. he was too busy, he was too important."

Garceau even asked Donley he could live in the house for a week before he put any money down.

"I basically told him to put up or shut up," Donley said. "We needed the money, and he wasn't going to take possesion of the house until we had it."

Several other realtors in Port Aransas and Padre Island said they'd had similar experiences with the same man, but were afraid to be identified in our story.

Garceau was arrested in Port Aransas earlier this week for out-of-town warrants. He's wanted in Guadalupe County for deceptive business practicesa dna in Bexar County for assault.

Garceau posted $4,500 dollars bond and left police his address. But the address is for a shopping center on Padre Island, and several business people said they'd never seen Garceau there before.

But now, realtors are on the lookout for Garceau, and say they're taking extra precautions to make sure every transaction is legitimate.

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