Saturday, January 11, 2003

Ky. man targeted elderly, police say



The Associated Press

IUKA, Miss. - Two men, one of them from Kentucky, were in custody in Mississippi for allegedly participating in a multistate scam that duped elderly residents by overcharging for shoddy maintenance work.

Tishomingo County Sheriff David Smith identified the men as Teddy E. Girton, 26, of Elkton, Ky., and Emanuel Cooper, 34, of Benton, Ark.

"We've had numerous states calling. We're waiting to see what all charges are going to be filed," Sheriff Smith said. "Our (district attorney's) office is coming up today to look at all we have got."

Officers were led to the men after an elderly woman refused the pair's offer to work on her home's metal roof. The men told her they installed her roof a few years ago and needed to tighten its screws.

"She knew they didn't do her roof," said Angie Lambert, a sheriff's department spokeswoman. "She told them to leave, and she called the sheriff's department."

Deputies found men attempting to work on the home of an elderly couple. The men told the couple they would do work on the house for $400, but wound up charging them $1,800. They also cut the home's telephone line so the couple could not contact authorities, deputies said.

"They were spraying tar on a red shingled roof," Ms. Lambert said. "(The officers) got one of the guys down to question him, and the man in the back took off running."

The officers handcuffed the first man and pursued the second man on foot before apprehending him.

The men were traveling in a white 2001 Dodge truck with an Indiana license plate. Authorities have been investigating a trail of scam victims in Tennessee, Alabama and across Mississippi.




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