Cops eye home improvement fraud
On Feb. 20, the Caldwell County Sheriff”s Office received a report of a home repair fraud that occurred on Borchert Loop, west of Lockhart.
The 81-year-old female victim reported she was approached by a white male suspect who advised that the roof of her residence was about to cave in. He convinced her that it needed to be fixed immediately. The suspect and an accompli
ce got onto the roof and spent about 20 minutes on the roof. The suspect came off the roof and demanded $9,700 for repairing the roof. The victim wrote out a check for the amount and gave it to the suspect. The suspect went to the bank and cashed the check immediately. Later, the victim told a family member about the roof repair she had done. The family member checked the roof and found that no repair was needed nor had any repair taken place.
Three days later, the same victim discovered another white male suspect in the residence when she came from a back room of the house. The suspect demanded payment in the amount of $5,000 for repair of the victim”s driveway and culvert. The victim, who was in fear of her safety, wrote out a check for the amount and gave it to the suspect. The suspect left in a late model silver colored Chevrolet pickup occupied by an older female suspect.
The victim went to the bank to stop payment on the check. While the victim was with bank officials, the suspect female came into the bank to cash the victim”s check. While officials delayed the transaction and contacted the Lockhart Police Department, the female became nervous and left the bank. A Lockhart police officer arrived and stopped the vehicle and identified the female suspect. She was released without criminal charges.
Further investigation by Sheriff”s Office detectives revealed the identity of the male suspect. Arrest warrants have been issued for both the male and female suspects in the case. Further investigation continues.
Representatives from both the Caldwell County Sheriff”s Office and the Lockhart Police Department said no other similar incidents have been reported in the past six months. However, they note that fraud crimes often go unreported because victims feel shame about having “been taken.” However, law enforcement encourages anyone who feels they have been a victim of fraud to contact them.
Crimes inside the Lockhart city limits should be reported to the Lockhart Police Department at 398-4401. Rural residents should contact the Caldwell County Sherrif”s Office at 398-6777.
(Courtesy of Paul Cowan)