Criminals are giving honest roofers a bad name – again

Weekly Industry Recap: week ending 21 Feb 2013:

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s the fact that there are criminals going about everywhere, pulling the wool over the eyes of elderly pensioners.

It’s all over the news again: Police in North Yorkshire are warning locals to keep an eye out for scammers cold calling and stating that they’re there to carry out repairs on their roofs. In York, people in Haxby and Selby in particular have been targeted by a pair of criminals going about and stating that there are fictional birds flying on to roofs.

On more than one occasion, these men have even said they’d magnanimously go right into the loft to check for damage and remove the bird. While up there, they go about wrecking the place, then come down and offer to fix the very damage they caused, all the while charging their hapless victims an arm and a leg – it’s absolutely horrid and I hope the police find all these right bastards and string them up, if you ask me.

Other times, the pair will find an elderly couple and spin the same fraudulent story, only this time it’s flying up into their eaves. The criminals run up a ladder to ‘remove the bird,’ then come back down in just a few moments reporting that they animal is gone – and that the pensioners now owe them a fee for their valuable service.

There could be more than one team of bastards out there, as another story from the area reported this week that a pair of conmen have been jailed recently – yet the reports still keep rolling in. These two fine, upstanding pillars of the community, 30 year old Richard Wood and 21 year old Ryan Richard Lowe, were found guilty of defrauding not just one victim but two over a lengthy period of time.

One of the poor people victimised by the criminals was Kathleen Gardner, a 84 year old widow that lost in excess of £6,000 from her savings for a repair that would have cost no more than £30 if it had been done properly the first time. Meanwhile, an even more egregious example is the more than £72,000 bilked out of an 86 year old widower fro Haxby, who paid for gardening and building work; meanwhile investigators couldn’t find even a scrap of evidence that there was any work done on his property.

To make matters worse, each of he victims were suffering from age-related dementia. I can’t think of a more terrible pair of people than Lowe and Wood for preying upon these elderly innocents and I can’t see anyone disagreeing with me.

Thankfully, now they’re both in jail. Lowe received a three year sentence, while Wood – the man’s brother-in-law – has another for and one-half years added on to his current sentence, as he’s already been locked up for similar offences.

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