Two charged with scamming elderly man

Charles Barnes (L) and Travis Tyndall (R) (Images courtesy Wake County Sheriff's Office)

July 22, 2012 3:26:00 PM PDT
An elderly man said he was the victim of smooth-talking con-artists, and two men are charged with scamming the man.

Willis Winston is nearly 90 years old and lives in Wake Forest. He said Saturday afternoon two men offered to clean out his gutters for $25.

The two men were 28-year-old Charles Barnes and 27-year-old Travis Tyndall, both of Whitakers.

"Nice as they could be, no problem. They called me Mr. Winston this, Mr. Winston that," Winston said.

Winston said while they were cleaning out the gutters, the duo used crow bars and a saw to cut a hole in the roof. The two told Winston that his roof was leaking and it needed to be fixed, ultimately charging him more than $500 in repairs.

"See my mistake was I let them get on the roof. That's what he wanted. He didn't care about the $25. He wanted the roof so then he'd have me, but I didn't know it," Winston said.

Then Winston called police and the two men were arrested and charged in the scam.

"I never want to go through that again. It's just something that happens to older people," Winston said.

Police said this is not Tyndall's first time performing the scam. Tyndall conned another man out of almost $1,500 for repair work that never took place, according to officials.

Winston told ABC11 that the Wake Forest Fire Department has help patch up his roof, but he is hopeful his insurance company will pay for permanent repairs.

Tyndall and Barnes are charged with obtaining property by false pretenses and injury to real property. Tyndall's bond was set at $93,000, while Barnes' bond was set at $60,000.

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