Gulfport, Florida -- Gulfport police have arrested a man who they say committed a string of crimes, including burglary and scheming to defraud, against the elderly.
David Ryals, 27, allegedly targeted elderly, single women with bogus offers to perform handyman services.
Police say they've identified four victims so far, ranging in age from 67 to 85 years old.
Ryals has reportedly stolen money from at least five people and is linked to at least two burglaries.
In one case that happened on Jan. 19, Ryals allegedly convinced a 68-year-old woman to give him a down payment on a concrete repair job. He told the woman he would do the job while she was out of town, but instead police say he broke into her house and stole jewelry and other valuables.
More recently, an 85-year-old woman reported that Ryals agreed to do a pressure cleaning job for her. He asked for cash to put gas into the pressure washer, then never returned.
Police say they found several pieces of jewelry in Ryals' pockets when he was taken into custody. Investigators are still trying to identify the owners.
If anyone has additional information, or if you believe you may also be a victim, please contact Detective Hanh Pham at 727-893-1654.
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