A Boyle County man is in custody for allegedly scamming more than a dozen people in Boyle and surrounding counties out of thousands of dollars by telling them he would do work he never delivered on.
Boyle County Deputy Sheriff Dustin Clem said when he and Kentucky State Police troopers caught up with Jeffrey Adams, 26, of Junction City on Monday, Adams was in Lincoln County facing unrelated charges. However, they were able to serve a warrant for several counts of theft by deception in Boyle, Clem said.
According to Clem, Adams went to homes of at least 11, mostly elderly, Boyle residents promising to perform jobs such as tree removal or yard work.
He requested half the amount it would take to do the work up front, which was typically $200, then never returned to the homes to do the work.
Adams allegedly told people he wasn’t able to do the job because he had sick family members, a claim Clem said was also false.
Clem said Adams would fill out a form similar to an invoice and give it to the victims with the amount charged to the resident written on it, but he usually did not include the work he intended to do.
One of two victims who came forward over the weekend was able to get in writing the work Adams said he would do and failed to complete, which allowed Clem to obtain a warrant.
A license plate number written down by another victim first led Clem and state police to an address in Lincoln County before he was located on his way to court.
In all, Clem said Adams probably had taken more than $3,000 from people in Boyle County alone over the last six months, and more reports are trickling in.
There already were outstanding warrants for Adams’ arrest for doing the same thing to people in Anderson and Lincoln counties. Boyle Sheriff Marty Elliott said state police are also working similar cases.
Adams is being held at the Lincoln County Regional Jail on multiple charges of theft by deception and theft by failure to make required disposition of property.
Clem said a woman believed to be Adams’ stepmother, Monica Taylor, 30, has outstanding warrants in Anderson county for allegedly committing similar crimes but is still at large.
An early spring has meant an unseasonable flourish of people going door-to-door offering help with outdoor chores.
While some workers may be reputable, Sheriff Elliott said residents should ask for references they can contact immediately, should never pay someone they don’t know before work is finished and should feel free to call local law enforcement and to tell the contractor they intend to do so to make sure there have been no complaints.
Elliott believes more people likely were duped by Adams and hopes more will come forward.
People who believe they have been a victim are encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency.