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Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

'Irish Travelers' hit the Sikeston area

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

SIKESTON -- The scam artists known as the "Irish Travelers" were apparently in Sikeston, swindling an elderly woman out of $3,000.

According to Sikeston Department of Public Safety Director Drew Juden, two men representing themselves as workers asked to power wash an elderly woman's home last Friday and agreed on a price.

After power washing the home, the suspects were given a check by the victim and went to a local bank to cash the check. Upon arrival at the bank, the suspects had changed the amount on the check from $30 to $3030. Detectives working on the case have spoken with South Carolina authorities and discovered multiple warrants for the suspect in this case, who were described as the "Irish Travelers."

A check through the National Crime Information Center, NCIC, also shows one of the suspects is wanted in several states and apparently travels around performing these type of frauds to support his style of living.

The victim's name is not being released while more information is gathered in order to obtain a warrant through the Scott County Prosecutor's Office.

Juden reports that power washing is one common scheme used by the suspects as are driveway repairs and resurfacing, roofing repairs and common household fix-it tasks. Juden advises the best course of action is to use known contractors and people licensed to perform the type of work requested.

Anyone showing up at a residence, especially someone a citizen is not familiar with, should be able to present a city license authorizing the individual to perform the required work, and provide the homeowner with a written estimate. Authorities said these types of scams are common and usually occur in the spring and fall when everyone is wanting repairs made to their houses before or after the winter season.