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Izard County Sheriff warns of home repair scam

Monday, August 15, 2011

Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence issued a warning Aug. 8 for people to beware of unsolicited home repair and maintenance offers.

Lawrence said a Melbourne woman in her 80s reported that three men came to her home offering to power wash her house.

She said they offered to complete the job for $150.

One of the three men assisted the woman in writing the check. The check was cashed at a local bank in an amount of $1,150.

An investigation by the Izard County Sheriff's Department determined the work scam involved Kevin Bramlett, of Cave City and Melbourne, and Jerry Wisdom and Joey Canard, both of Cave City.

Lawrence said the three agreed to return the money to the victim, because she was charged too much. Lawrence returned the money to the woman the following day.

Canard and Bramlett are also persons of interest in another repair scam case that happened in Melbourne four or five months ago.

Lawrence said the investigation is continuing and charges against the three will likely be filed. Investigator Charles Melton and Senior Deputy Gabe Sanders are the investigating officers.

Most scam artists target the elderly, Lawrence said. "One of the suspects even stated to investigator that older ladies generally pay better because they can't do the work themselves," Lawrence said. "The best practice is simple --do not accept offers to perform repair or maintenance from people you don't know personally and know them to be legitimate."

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