Mesquite and Arlington police are asking for the public’s help to find a suspect accused of bilking an elderly Vietnam veteran out of thousands of dollars in a roofing scam.
Mesquite police said the suspect, identified as 36-year-old Joshua Bell, contacted the victim at her home in Mesquite, Texas, on Feb. 4 and talked her into getting roofing repairs. He used the name of a legitimate roofing company to convince her.
The victim paid Bell $17,000 “under the guise that her insurance would later reimburse her for her costs,” police said.
Mesquite police issued an arrest warrant for Bell for theft of property, FOX 4 News reported. The suspect also has outstanding warrants in the Austin and Gainesville areas.
Arlington police said Bell almost took another woman for $1,200 in early February. They launched a house surveillance online video of a guy they believe to be Bell.
Using the name “Michael,” the suspect approached a property and stated he was an employee of a respectable roofing company the house owners previously had used, police said. He advised them he had to carry out work on the roof before the homeowner’s warranty expired, according to WFAA.
The householder trusted this person was legit, but she became suspicious soon after Bell left. She called the roofing company and they said they did not send anyone to her home that day.
The owner canceled her check unraveling the plan, the station reported.
“Well, he went all through my house and I felt violated. My privacy was violated,” claimed the homeowner, identified as Virginia Hope. “He didn’t do any precise work on the roof.”
Bell is considered to be driving a silver, 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Z71 Trail Boss Edition with the Texas license plate MSH-2023. He has ties to both the Austin and Gainesville areas, and normally travels to Dallas, police said.