A man suspected of posing as a handyman to bilk victims of thousands of dollars has been arrested – and Wichita police think he’s scammed more people than they currently know about.
The 33-year-old man was arrested at an RV park on 47th Street South on Monday night and booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on suspicion of running a confidence game, Sgt. Santiago Hungria said.
Investigators learned of two cases late last week and have discovered more since then.
“We totally believe there’s more,” Hungria said, including at least one case in Butler County.
Investigators think the suspect has been in the Wichita area for about 45 days.
“We really need to get the word out” about the suspect’s activities to alert residents who may have been victimized, Hungria said.
The suspect portrays himself as a contractor willing to repair driveways, paint a house or do home repairs, Hungria said. In one case, he did part of the work before leaving. In another, he took off a couple of window shutters and then stopped.
In multiple instances, Hungria said, the suspect is alleged to have cashed checks without ever doing any of the promised work.
“The work is being done at almost half of what it would normally cost,” Hungria said, which should serve as a red flag to residents: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
The suspect is a white male in his 30s who is about 5-feet-7 and 170 pounds with sandy blond hair, Hungria said. He drove a 2015 Chevy crew-cab truck weighing nearly a ton.
Anyone who had recent dealings with a man fitting that description is encouraged to call the Wichita police case desk at 316-268-4221, Hungria said. If they have questions, they can reach investigators at 316-268-4193.