Police: Norristown man targeted Radnor senior citizen in contractor scam

- “It's a sad thing," said 79-year old James Block. He’s talking about the shoddy work a contractor did on his Radnor Township home before taking off without finishing the job.  Block says he hired 60-year-old Matthew Johnson of Norristown after he left a card in the door soliciting work.

"He was going to fix the downspouts in the gutter, clean the gutter and he was going to clean the roof. He was going to fix the deck.  First he came maybe two or three days in a row. Then he'd skip a few days."

Even worse Block says he paid the guy upfront and without a contract.

"It was all verbal and I thought I'm a dummy. Why in the world wouldn't I ask for a signed estimate?" said Block.  He didn’t call police until one day he noticed a chainsaw missing from his toolshed.

"Why in the world would he take it when he would be the first person I would have thought of?"

Police were able to track down Johnson only because Block had written down his license plate one day he was working at the home.

Police say he ultimately plead guilty.  Monday Block met with police and other town officials  at a local senior center.

"About how you can keep this from happening,” he said.

Police say they can do something if seniors say something.

"They live with the embarrassment that they've been victimized and they don't think there's anyone out there who will do anything," said Officer Mike Fischer with Radnor Township Police.

 

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