Suspect accused of taking $5,000 from elderly homeowner for a roofing job that never started – St George News
NS. GEORGE — A local man accused of taking a $5,000 payment from an 85-year-old homeowner for a roofer who had never started was arrested and jailed for theft.
According to a police report filed in support of the arrest, the investigation began Friday when officers visited a St. George home and spoke to a person who called to report a possible roofing scam.
The man allegedly told police he hired the suspect, identified as 45-year-old Gabriel Ryan Thompson, for a roof job at his home on North 100 East in St. George about a month earlier.
The homeowner said Thompson told him he would need $5,000 to cover supplies and order materials before the project began, which the homeowner paid to Thompson by check.
The report states that the homeowner has not heard from the suspect after that payment and that no work has been carried out on the roof. In addition, the homeowner told officers that the suspect would not take any of his calls, leading him to believe he was being scammed.
The homeowner provided the agents with an itemized list of supplies that the suspect allegedly ordered for the project; however, he added that there was no signed contract or agreement at the time payment for the purchase of the materials was made.
Despite this, the crime may fall under the elder abuse clause, the officer wrote in the report, citing the age of the homeowner.
The homeowner allegedly told agents he checked with his bank and learned the $5,000 check had already been cashed, adding that when he contacted the supply company from which to order the materials, the representative said there was no contact recorded with Thompson with some orders.
When officers tracked down the suspect the next day, the report states that: Thompson said he should complete the project but had health issues and couldn’t get the job started. Thompson is also said to have said he had no reason not to contact the homeowner or call back, other than to say that the last time the two had spoken, the homeowner was angry with him for not meeting it. project had worked.
The suspect also told officers he could make up about $2,000 to pay the homeowner if “he doesn’t go to jail today,” the officer noted in the report, adding that the suspect said he had four other roofing contracts. in St. George which he was working on at the time.
The defendant’s comments reportedly led the investigator to believe there was no reason Thompson couldn’t work on the homeowner’s work if he could work on the four other active projects.
Thompson was arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility facing second-degree theft; however, this is not the suspect’s first run-up with the law.
In August, he pleaded no match against assault for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend during an altercation at a relative’s home in November 2020. The original charges of aggravated assault were lowered under a plea deal.
The defendant was sentenced to one year in prison, but the sentence was suspended by the court, as well as fines totaling more than $2,500. Instead, the defendant was given 24 months’ probation, which was still in effect when Saturday’s arrest took place.
In October 2019, the suspect was arrested for burglary and various misdemeanors after officers responded to a disorderly call that saw a witness reporting that Thompson kicked in the front door of a residence and then entered another residence where he found the homeowner in a headscarf.
The state filed charges including two counts of criminal trespass, one count of disorderly conduct and one count of intoxication. The defendant pleaded guilty to the charges and was convicted in February this year. All jail terms, totaling 764 days, were suspended in the case and Thompson was ordered to pay a $1,200 fine. He was also given a 24-month probation period.
After Saturday’s arrest, the suspect was released from prison.
Ed. Note: A new law in Utah generally prohibits the release of arrest booking photos until after a conviction has been obtained.
This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of the findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or otherwise decided by a trial judge.
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