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St. Charles Police: Scammers Target Elderly Couple

Three men perform unsolicited "home improvement" services and charge high price, police say.

An 88-year-old woman and her 90-year-old husband were victims of a “home improvement” scam at their St. Charles residence late May 4.

St. Charles Police were dispatched to a residence in the 400 Block of South 13th St. Friday afternoon. The couple told police they were approached by three male “workmen” as they pulled into their garage after running errands. The suspects pulled into the victim’s driveway in a full-sized silver pickup truck with a card board “Illinois Construction” placard on the driver’s side door, according to a press release from the St. Charles Police Department.

The driver of the vehicle identified himself as “Joe” and told the victims he had done repairs at their house before. While talking with the couple he told the other two men in the vehicle to get out and start working. One exited the truck and put a ladder against the side of the house and the other started working in the yard. After about an hour and a half, “Joe” gave the victims a bill for the time and material that his crew provided, which was then paid for in cash. The “work” consisted of spray painting a wrought iron railing, spraying tar at the base of the chimney and a white substance, possibly spray paint, sprayed on a portion of the concrete walkway. Evidence was collected at the scene, which will be sent to the state crime lab for processing.

According to police the three male suspects were all described as having a dark complexion and short dark hair.  “Joe” was described as being in his early 50’s with average height and weight.  The second male was described as being 30 – 40 years of age with a heavy build. The third suspect was described as being in his 20’s with a thin build.

St. Charles police are advising residents to be on the lookout for a similar vehicle with three occupants offering unsolicited home improvement of maintenance work. Officers are advising residents to close their door, call “911”and if possible, obtain vehicle and suspect information.

Jill K. Amoni May 08, 2012 at 05:35 PM
What did they charge?
Vanessa Bell-LaSota May 09, 2012 at 03:15 PM
We worked hard to establish a neighborhood watch in this area. Now that we know, we will send out this alert to all our block captains. However, we appreciate that one of the rewards of having created this network, is access to timely information from the police.
NCPHIF June 19, 2012 at 05:58 PM
As a nonprofit, it is our mission to educate homeowners on how to avoid becoming victims of contractor scams. Before you begin a home repair or home improvement project, please visit preventcontractorfraud.org for FREE and valuable information on how to deal with contractors. Don't become a victim!! 

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