Police say the con men ran a home improvement scam on unsuspecting elderly victims living in older homes. The fast-talking men thought one Raleigh neighborhood was easy pickings, but they were wrong.
Police say the con men pretended to be city utility workers who claimed to be checking for leaks in older homes.
"They checked the pipes and then went upstairs, and told the resident she had a leak," said Mike Hunter, with theRaleigh Police Department.
The victim was a 78-year-old woman who took the bait. Police say the suspects told the victim it would cost $1,600 to fix the leaky repairs. They wanted half of the money upfront, and said they would return later in the day for the rest.
"The history of people like this is, if a victim is susceptible to this scam, then they would come to talk with them and try to convince them to do other things to inflate the repair objectives," Hunter said.
Police say that when Dan Webb and Arthur Raper Jr. returned for the rest of their money, they got a wrist full of handcuffs instead of a fistful of cash.
"Now that I know it's going on, I am concerned," said James Coley, who has lived in the same neighborhood as the victim for close to 40 years.
Coley says when his house needs repairing, he thoroughly checks out anyone wanting the job and avoids unsolicited contractors. He says because this incident happened so close to home, he will be more alert.
"About the only thing I know to do right now is to call the police," Coley said.
Police say by making an immediate arrest and getting these two guys off the streets, they may have spared other unsuspecting elderly victims. The two men are now facing charges of obtaining property by false pretense and conspiracy to commit a crime.