A man has been charging people in the Washington, D.C., area to fix damage he caused intentionally, according to police.
Police charged Christopher Clore with theft, destruction of property and other charges.
A man made a hole in a piece of wood on the roof of the Bethesda, Maryland, home of David Hills’ 79-year-old mother then told her a tree limb had damaged her roof, Hills said.
“To me it looks like they bashed it in with a hammer or a hatchet and then stuck a tree limb through it and took a picture with their cellphone and that’s what they used to convince her she needed repairs right away,” Hills said.
The man allegedly told Hills mother he was doing work in the area when he noticed the tree limb
“They didn't have any kind of business cards,” Hills said. “They didn’t even have a ladder. They borrowed her stepladder to get up on the roof.”
His mother agreed to pay $2,100 for repairs.
“They put on an old shingle on,” Hills said. “Ironically, they put it on in such a way that rain that fell on the roof would run under that shingle and leak into the house. So that was a nice touch.”
Clore is accused of similar crimes in Fairfax County, Virginia, and police said he also scammed a woman in Kensington, Maryland.
“He actually got a deposit in that case of $300 and then just never returned to the home,” Montgomery County Police Cpl. Rebecca Innocenti said. “She never saw him again.”
There have been a dozen home improvement scams in the county since March 1. Police are warning residents to beware and remember not to feel pressured to hire a repairman who comes to your door offering a quick fix.
“It makes my blood boil,” Hills said. “It’s absolutely despicable that people would prey on other people this way.”