Deputies: Handyman scammed elderly residents

- A suspected scammer posing as a handyman is in jail tonight.  28-year-old Justin Crist is accused in at least three cases and likely more.

Deputies say he conned 91 year old Joseph Kreplick out of $700 in April.  He had knocked on the elderly man’s door asking if he wanted some outdoor work done.

“Very calm whatever you said he agreed,” said Kreplick. 

He says Crist also told him a sob story about him and hisgirlfriend and said he needed the money upfront. 

“I think I felt sorry for him,” he said.

Though skeptical, Kreplick had Crist drive him to the bank where he took out $700 and gave it to him before any work was done.

“He said he was goingto do work in the backyard he went out and soon as I closed the door he tookoff,” Kreplick said.

Deputies say Crist used the same MO on two other elderlyvictims.

“Detectives do believethere are additional victims and they're encouraging people to come forwardwith any information,” said Sgt. Spencer Gross with the Pinellas County Sheriff’sOffice.

Crist is facing several felony charges.  He’s in jail on $25,000 bond.

Anyone with information, or believes Crist has scammed them, can contact Detective Q. Collamore at the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office at (727) 582-6200.

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