ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – An elderly Armuchee woman lost $118,000 of her life savings to three men who took advantage of her, according to the Floyd County Police Department.
It appears that the victim hired 39-year-old Robert John Criswell of Lindale, 28-year-old Kyle Dewayne Dover of Cedartown and 23-yar old Hunter Chase Hammitt of Kingston to complete some tree work and other things. She met them while they were working for a local tree company. However, they were working on their own during the commission of the crimes.
The trio was arrested on Wednesday at a campsite near Johns Mountain. It is believed the suspects were living at the campsite, which is about 10 miles away from the 90-year-old victim.
Police say that the victim wrote 33 checks between December and April to the 3 men for various amounts. It is also believed that they would follow her to the bank to collect cash.
Some tree work was completed but the trees were still on the property along with small brush piles. Shutters that were intended to be hung were barely attached and were hanging by one screw in some cases.
Criswell and Dover are being charged with exploitation of the elderly and theft by deception. They are being held on a $15,000 bond. Hammitt is being held on no bond on charges of exploitation of the elderly, theft by deception and probation violation.
According to Floyd County PD, says scams of this nature are not uncommon.
The fraudsters will often exaggerate the damage that needs to be repaired and embellish their skill level to give hope to victims who might only need small repairs. In return for little or no work, the scammers often drive away with small fortunes.
The Floyd County Police Department is encouraging families and neighbors to check in with older relatives to ensure they are not being swindled, especially if there are frequent visits by service technicians or home improvement companies to the home of an elderly person.
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