Sheriff: Contractor scammed elderly, there might be more victims

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. – A 28-year-old man has been charged with taking money from senior citizens and not completing the work. Investigators believe there are more victims.

Justin Kyle Crist, 28, is charged with grand theft from a victim 65 years old, and two counts of felony petit theft. He admitted to the allegations when he was arrested at 9:15 a.m. April 27.

On April 6, a 91-year-old man called the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office called to report he was scammed by a young man who came to his Dunedin residence offering to do landscaping work.
 
Detectives say Crist approached the older man in his front yard and convinced him to pay him in advance for landscaping work, the sheriff’s office said. They reached an agreement, and then Crist drove the man to the bank, where the victim withdrew money and paid Crist. After dropping the victim off at his home, Crist never returned.
  
Detectives were able to identify the suspect as Crist and say that he also is a suspect in two similar incidents that occurred months prior.

Detectives say that on Feb. 26, Crist showed up at a 69-year-old woman’s residence in Pinellas Park after she responded to an ad on Facebook.  Crist got money in advance for the purchase of materials to install an attic fan. Crist never returned.

Then, on March 27, Crist approached a 69-year old woman at her Dunedin home to solicit work. Crist was given money to rent a pressure washer to clean the home, but never returned.

Detectives believe there may be additional victims in Pinellas County. Anyone who may have additional information related to this investigation can contact Detective Q. Collamore at the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office at (727) 582-6200.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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