Toronto Police have charged an 18-year-old man in an alleged roofing scam that targeted two Toronto neighbourhoods.
According to Toronto Police, three men approached a homeowner in the Coxwell Avenue and Danforth Avenue area on April 25 claiming to be roofers working on a neighbouring property. The men told the homeowner they'd seen damage on the homeowner's roof and offered to do an inspection.
The homeowner agreed, and was then provided with a quote for $18,500. At the men's behest, the homeowner gave them a deposit of $9K so that work could start the next day.
Police said an "unsuspecting sub-contracted crew" began working on the roof on April 26. The man who had provided the original $18,500 quote returned as well, and allegedly requested $3K to "purchase supplies." But, when the homeowner returned from the bank with the money, he was gone.
By phone, he told the homeowner to give the money to the new crew. The homeowner then became suspicious and, after speaking with other neighbours, called police.
Several days later on April 28, officers were called to the area of Eglinton Avenue East and Bayview Avenue after witnesses, who TPS said were "aware of the roofing scam," observed three men they believed were in the area for "criminal activity."
When officers arrived, they found two men on a homeowner's property, as well as an unsuspecting sub-contractor and a man who matched the description for the April 25 incident. The latter individual fled, but was arrested following a foot chase.
Police have charged 18-year-old Stewart Millet, of no fixed address, with fraud over $5K and mischief-damage to property over $5K. His image has been released.
In both of the aforementioned incidents, police said the men identified themselves as working for a company called "CO Roofing & Masonry," and provided a phone number of 647-767-0300. Police noted that the subcontractors were not paid in either incident.
The investigation is ongoing, and police believe there may be more victims. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5300. Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477 or www.222tips.com.
"The Toronto Police Service reminds homeowners to be diligent when granting access to their homes, especially for unsolicited inspections and repairs," police cautioned.