LONG ISLAND – Ed Saunders was one step ahead when a man knocked on his door on Monday offering to fix his roof.
“This fellow showed up at my door, told me I had a hole [and] he’s a roofer working in the area, and sent his drone up to see if there’s any work,” he said.
The 91-year-old said there very well may have been a hole but what the men did when they were up there made it far worse.
“They were banging around and stomping around, and he showed me the hole. It was much bigger,” Saunders said.
A licensed contractor who came to fix the mess said the damage looked intentional.
The alleged scammers wanted $2,200 and Saunders didn’t go for it.
“I told him I had an appointment, and he’d have to come back later for the deposit, but he never came back, and I had no intention of giving him the deposit.”
Nassau County police caught up with the men after they got into a car crash and tried to run.
They arrested 29-year-old Terry McDonagh of Keansburgh, New Jersey.
Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly said McDonagh and others also tried to scam a resident in Greenvale using a similar story.
“They show up to the house, climb up on the roof, do their own damage to it and then asked to get paid to repair it,” she said.
Nassau County Police say they’re still looking for at least two others involved in this scam as well as those responsible in a similar incident involving a victim in Elmont who’s now out more than $200,000 dollars.
“Contractors usually don’t go door to door and say ‘we’re going to work on your roof,’ be wary,” Donnelly said.
Saunders says he’s glad he stuck to his gut and hopes others will think twice before opening the door.