Handyman scammed, stole from elderly victims, police say - FOX 13 News

Handyman scammed, stole from elderly victims, police say

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A handyman in Gulfport has been arrested on fraud-related charges.

The Gulfport Police Department said David Ryals was arrested Monday afternoon following a string of crimes.

They included burglary and scheming to fraud.

Ryals has allegedly been targeting elderly, single women with bogus offers to perform handyman services.

Police have identified four victims so far, ranging in age from 67 to 85 years of age.

Ryals has also been linked to at least two burglaries and stole money from at least five people, police said.

On January 19, police said Ryals convinced a 68-year-old woman to give him a down payment on a concrete repair job.

He told the woman he would do the job while she was out of town. Instead, he broke into her house and stole jewelry and other valuables, detectives said.

Most recently, an 85-year-old woman reported that on February 9th, Ryals agreed to do a pressure-cleaning job.

He talked the woman into giving him cash to put gas in the pressure washer, but he never returned, according to police.

Investigators say they found several pieces of jewelry in Ryals' pockets when he was taken into custody.

They are still trying to identify the owners.

Detectives say there may be additional incidents that have not yet been reported.

If anyone has additional information, or if you believe you may also be a victim, call the Gulfport Police Department.

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