METAIRIE, La. (WVUE) -A Metairie was arrested last month after police say he posed as a contractor and scammed an elderly woman out of thousands of dollars, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said.
Steve John, 34, of Metairie, was booked with exploitation of the infirmed, residential contractor fraud, and narcotics possession.
Police say on Oct. 27, John knocked on the door of the 86-year-old victim and offered his services in repairing storm damage and inspecting the roof of her home.
He identified himself as a local contractor named “Joe Pizzo” from “Expert Roofing and Paving”, which claimed to be licensed and insured.
John took cash and a check for over $2000 from the victim to be used for materials and labor, and promised to return to complete the work.
The woman’s neighbor learned of the arrangement, and spoke with the victim about the transaction. The neighbor noted that the victim did not have any damage to her residence that would require repair.
The next day, John returned and was confronted by the neighbor about the lack of damage and legitimacy of his business. John did not have any materials with him to perform a roof repair despite allegedly being at the home for that purpose.
After being confronted, John fled the location. Subsequent checks of the business information and phone number on the quote written for the victim did not come back to a legitimate business.
Through investigation, “Joe Rizzo” was was identified as Steve John. John has a previous conviction for residential contractor fraud from January of this year. An arrest warrant was issued and he was arrested on Oct. 29 at his residence in the 2300 block of Lemon Street in Metairie.
Investigators believe that there may have been other residents, primarily the elderly, who may have been defrauded by John.
Anyone with information on this case, or who has concern that they have been victimized by John, is asked to call Detective Brad Stanifer at 504-364-5300.