City of Takoma Park Police Department
● 7500 Maple Avenue ● Takoma Park, Md 20912
For more information contact:
Public Information Officer (PIO)
Catherine Plevy, 301/891.7142 or 240/338.2901
July 11, 2012 (10:20 a.m.)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
**As put out by Montgomery County Police Department**
In mid-June, a 4th District Community Services Officer was given information on a possible victim of a home improvement scam in Olney. Through investigation, the officer was able to determine the following course of events:
On June 10, a 91-year-old resident of Olney Mill Road in Olney answered his door and was met by a male and female who convinced him that his chimney needed repairs. The victim signed an invoice agreeing to pay the suspects $825.00 to make repairs to his chimney. Approximately twenty minutes after the suspects began to "work" on the chimney, a family member of the victim came to the home and inquired about the work. The suspects stated that they had been working for four hours and demanded payment. When the family member stated he would call police, the suspects left in a red, 1986 Ford pick-up truck with Virginia registration XNR-6929. No money had exchanged hands.
During the investigation, a licensed general contractor inspected the work done by the suspects and stated that the "work" completed served no purpose and would not seal the chimney from the elements. The officer also confirmed that the defendant does not have a license to perform home improvement work in Maryland.
The officer was able to identify the female suspect as Virginia Breeden, age 49, of Spotsylvania, Virginia. The male suspect has not been identified. On July 4, the officer obtained an arrest warrant for Virginia Breeden charging her with attempted theft under $1,000, attempted financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult over $500, conspiracy to commit theft under $1,000, conspiracy to commit financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult over $500, acting as a contractor without a license, and conspiracy to act as a contractor without a license.
The Montgomery County Police Department wants to again warn residents of home improvement scams and the Office of Consumer Protection advises homeowners to use only licensed contractors. The need to remove trees from property and repair homes after this last storm provides a perfect opportunity for scammers to take advantage of people. Be cautious of door-to-door solicitors and if you encounter people who do not seem to be providing a legitimate and legal service, call police. Also be mindful of senior family members and neighbors, who may be more vulnerable to these types of scams. Report suspicious activity to the police.
If you have information on Virginia Breeden’s whereabouts, please call the Montgomery County Police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000.Wanted: Virginia Breeden, age 49, of Spotsylvania, Virginia
Vehicle: 1986 Ford pick-up truck, red in color
Virginia registration: XNR-6929