Local News

Handyman Accused Of Taking Advantage Of Senior Citizens

Posted September 21, 2004 5:47 a.m. EDT

— A local handyman is suspected of taking advantage of older homeowners in two states. Brian Gurganus has already served time for taking advantage of a 78-year-old woman in Rocky Mount. He is also wanted in Virginia for doing the same thing to an elderly homeowner near Richmond.

Jimmy Lloyd said his grandmother means the world to him. He could not believe someone would take advantage of her.

"It just made me mad that some piece of person like this could get away with something like that," he said.

Lloyd claims Gurganus ripped her off. He said the handyman charged his 86-year-old grandmother through the roof for bogus home repairs such as repairing shingles and sheeting.

Lloyd's family found out about a $14,000 bill from the bank. Bank employee Mary Ann Hobgood became suspicious when Lloyd's grandmother walked in with Gurganus to withdraw thousands of dollars.

"I questioned her. I said you've got to have a new house with all the money you're spending," Hobgood said. "She said, 'yeah, sort of,' then he started talking about what he was doing and I just got leery from what he said."

After Hobgood called her family, Lloyd did an Internet search on Gurganus.

"There he was at the top of the 10 most wanted in Chesterfield, Virginia, for exactly the same thing," Lloyd said.

Police did not know where to find Gurganus until he tried to cash more checks from Lloyd's grandmother. The bank told him he had to return to the original branch.

"So he came back here. We didn't think he would, but he did and that's when we called police," Hobgood said.

Gurganus is in the Durham County Jail, being held on $150,000 bond. He waived extradition to Virginia after a judge refused to reduce his bond. Durham police are investigating to see what charges they can bring in this case.