Repair ripoff targets elderly woman

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - The work was done on the gutters, the chimney, and the roof for a total price tag of $4,000, which police say, was way more than it was worth.

Byron Hensley's been retired long enough to see a lot of handymen walking along Bryn Mawr Road, where many of his neighbors have lived there a long time, and don't often do their own house repairs.

"Let's put it this way, I think you see more people coming around knocking on door, offering service here than other neighborhoods," said Byron.

Many, of course, are legit. But some, apparently, are not. As in the case of the 89-year-old woman down the street, who police say, was billed four thousand dollars by a handyman, for minor roof jobs.

"In this situation, it's pretty obvious that the cost of the work was way higher than what it was really worth," said Henrico Police Lt. Doug Perry.

The woman called authorities. But at this point, her money's probably gone. No surprise to neighbors who said off-camera, that certain so-called contractors have tried this here, before.

"He probably targeted this lady because of her age. You know, we see this quite often when they target the elderly," said Perry.

So police are reminding people to be suspicious whenever a stranger comes to the door. And be aware of their credentials.

"I would always use someone that had been recommended or someone I had used before," said neighbor Beryl Coverstone.

"You should look at what they're traveling in. Somebody's riding in a beat up old jalopy, and, doesn't seem to have the right equipment to do the job, you wonder," Byron said.

That way, you lessen the risk at the hands of a stranger - who perhaps will go to great lengths to get your money.

The victim's check was cashed at a bank in Orange County, and Henrico police are still working to track the suspect down.

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