TX – Cayce police are searching for a man they believe is preying on the elderly in an effort to get money.
Officers are searching for 37-year-old James Lynell Ridgeway, Jr.
Investigators think Ridgeway took money in advance from at least one elderly victim, then did little or no work in return. Officers say the man offered to pressure wash a home and perform other maintenance.
Investigators warned the public not to enter into any agreements with Ridgeway.
Officers say he scammed a woman who doesn’t want to be identified. Investigators say Ridgeway pressure washed the woman’s home, but promised a number of other services that he did not provide.
On June 30th, the victim says Ridgeway knocked on her door around 7 p.m. with no shirt or shoes.
The elderly woman said: “He said, could you possibly let me clean your house, because I have two little children and I don’t have any work.”
She says he handed her a flyer and said he could do a number of home repairs, but he needed the money upfront.
“Right then, I was a bit suspicious, but I didn’t stop talking to him,” she said, “I was stupid enough to give him the money.”
But the victim did make him sign a contract and Ridgeway returned the next day with a helper to pressure wash the driveway and house.
“All the time, he was asking me for the money, his friend was out there working on the thing, so, I really didn’t have a reason to suspect he wasn’t going to do everything else,” said the victim.
But when she noticed the contracts were missing off her kitchen table one night, then she knew she’d been scammed.
The victim called the number on the flyer that had worked the day before, and she says it’d been disconnected. But Ridgeway called her, asking to borrow $400 to get his truck out of the shop, and he’d pay her back $550.
Now, she’s out $1,300, but not out of advice for others who may come across Ridgeway.
“Don’t let him get your sympathy, because he will prey on your sympathy,” said the victim.
Ridgeway is 5 feet 10 inches tall, and weighs 160 pounds.
Anyone with information should call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC, or e-mail a tip in to http://www.midlandscrimestoppers.com. You can also text information in by texting “TIPSC” plus your message to CRIMES (274637). Either way you choose, your identity will remain anonymous, and you could be eligible for a cash reward.
Police Believe Man Preys on Elderly for Money