Friday, December 09, 2016

Bail Bond Set At $30K For Suspect Pinched On Elderly Financial Exploitation Charge; Accused Of Grossly Overcharging 74-Year Old Homeowner For Subpar Exterior House Work In Alleged Home Improvement Ripoff

In Cape Girardeau, Missouri, the Southeast Missourian reports:
  • A man charged a 74-year-old Cape Girardeau woman more than $12,000 for subpar exterior house work and planned to charge her $10,000 more to spray for termites, according to a Cape Girardeau police statement.

    Cape Girardeau police arrested Lon Raymond Stielow, 59, of Saint Paul, Minnesota, on Thursday. The Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney’s office charged Stielow with financial exploitation of the elderly.

    Stielow’s bond was set at $30,000 cash.

    Police were contacted by a friend of the victim Nov. 13, according to a probable-cause statement filed in the case by Cape Girardeau Police detective Joe Thomas. The victim told police she went with Stielow to the bank and withdrew $12,291 she gave to him, most likely on Nov. 12, Thomas wrote.

    Thomas observed the work completed by Stielow at the victim’s house [...], which amounted to putting in gutter guards, painting window frames and a door frame and nailing a board in place below one of windows, according to the statement.

    Stielow and his two workers did not scrape off any old paint from the windows and painted on the siding around each window, Thomas wrote. About 34 feet of gutter guards were installed, according to the statement.

    “When I saw the ‘work’ they did compared to what they charged her, it did seem they grossly overcharged her,” Thomas wrote.

    Thomas talked to a professional painter who said the most he would charge for a similar job would be $1,500, Thomas wrote. At their most expensive, gutter guards cost about $135 for a set of 25, according to the statement.

    Thomas checked with a two pest-control companies, and neither said they would charge more than $2,000 for a big job, according to the statement.

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