Local News

Police: Raleigh man tried to swindle storm victims

Posted May 6, 2011 5:53 p.m. EDT
Updated December 19, 2011 3:07 p.m. EST

Editor's Note: The charges against William Shannon Coble were voluntarily dismissed.

A Raleigh man earned a trip to the Wake County jail when police said he set himself up as a liaison between storm-stricken homeowners and a charity offering them help.

According to arrest warrants, William Shannon Coble, 41, of 8805 Ashdown Court, told Samaritan's Purse that he owned four houses damaged when tornadoes swept through north Raleigh on April 16. The charity provided him with tarps to cover up roofs and people to help him do the work. Coble then tried to get the actual homeowners – on Serendipity Drive and Jordan Mill Court – to sign contracts to pay him for the materials and work.   

In his haste to get work started on his house, homeowner Dean Duran said he was taken by Coble. "He came in, and took a quick look around and was in a rush to get me to sign some documentation to represent us. I didn't go over it as thoroughly as I should have," Duran said. "I went ahead and signed, feeling that I needed to get something going."

Samaritan's Purse representatives said their help was available for free and no contract was required.

Coble was arrested Thursday, charged with attempting to obtain property under false pretenses. He bonded out of jail and denied that he did anything wrong. 

"The charges are false and based on hearsay with no proof," he said Friday. I was just trying to get tarps for people who couldn't afford them."