Police arrest man in home improvement scam
Waterford – Police have arrested a man who allegedly posed as a home improvement contractor and charged a Waterford household for services that he never delivered.
Thomas Charles, 57, of Killingly, was charged Monday with operating without a contractor’s license, attempting to use another person’s contractor’s license, and second-degree larceny. The larceny charge correlates with thefts valued at $5,000 or more.
Lt. Brett Mahoney said that in August, Charles allegedly used his son’s contractor’s license to pose as a contractor. Charles allegedly offered to remodel the bathroom of a Waterford home, took money from his clients and never performed the work he had promised. Mahoney said Charles advertised his “expert plumbing and heating” services in the Norwich Bulletin.
Mahoney was not sure whether Charles used his son’s name and said that the son was not aware before police contacted him that Charles had used the license number. Police may consider the son a secondary victim, according to Mahoney.
Consumers can protect themselves from similar cases of fraud by looking up the name and license number of potential contractors before paying them, according to Mahoney. He said that searching Google or checking the databases of the state Department of Consumer Protection or Better Businesses Bureau may unearth past complaints.
Charles was released on a $35,000 bond and is due in New London Superior Court June 9.
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