FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — The Sebastian County Sheriffs Office is hoping residents can help them locate a man accused of scamming an elderly Midland woman out of nearly $6,000.
Deputies said Brian Stanley scammed the 88-year-old woman by promising to perform some household maintenance that was either not completed or barely started.
She told investigators she paid Stanley $4,200 to repair her driveway and $1,600 to paint her house.
"One of our concerns here is not only for this citizen and how she`s been taken by this person but also for other citizens in the county who maybe have dealt with this man," said Philip Pevehouse, Captain with the Sebastian County Sheriff's Office.
Local contractor Donnie Wise says while sometimes a percentage of money is exchanged upfront. It's also a good idea to sign a contract and verify a contractor is legit before handing over any money.
"You make sure people have insurance. Make sure they`re licensed. I think if they`re a reputable contractor in the area they all have liability insurance," said Wise.
He says he was upset when he heard about the incident in Midland.
"It gives us all a bad name. No matter if it`s a single guy or one man crew out on the street, or somebody like us that has several people working for them.'49:00'We do from small projects to large and I hate to hear that," says Wise.
Stanley, 40, is about 5-foot-6 and weighs roughly 200 pounds. He has dark hair and dark eyes.
Investigators said they couldn't verify Stanley's supposed company and they believe he has other victims.
Anyone with more information on Stanley's whereabouts can call the sheriff's office at 479-783-1051.
Investigators also ask that anyone who has also had work done by Stanley in the past to contact them.
"'We know he`s involved, we know he`s the person that was there, but we need to get his statement and we need to put a stop to this one way or the other," said Pevehouse.
Deputies urge residents to check a contractor's reference with the Better Business Bureau or the Arkansas Attorney General's Office before paying or allowing them to work on your home.
Residents can also visit the state licensing board’s website or call 501-372-4661 to see if a contractor is licensed to work in Arkansas.