The Community Service Officer from the 4th District has charged Michael Adams, age 34, of the 5200 block of Georgia Avenue in Washington, D.C., with intent to knowingly and willfully obtain and deprive a vulnerable adult of property by deception, intimidation, and undue influence. The victim is an 89-year-old resident of Leisure World, an age-restricted community.
Investigation has revealed that on March 28, the victim was approached by Adams in the shopping center adjacent to Leisure World. Adams offered to paint a small scratch on the victim’s vehicle. The victim and suspect agreed to a price of $100. Adams also told the victim that her car required a new part. The victim and Adams agreed to meet the next week in the same parking lot and Adams would paint the scratch on the car.
Over the next two months, Adams and the victim met on several occasions in the parking lot of Home Depot (located at 14000 Georgia Avenue in Aspen Hill) so that the repair work could be completed. During each meeting, Adams increased the price of the repairs. On May 1, Adams and the victim met in the shopping center parking lot located near Leisure World. Adams very angrily demanded $5,000 for supposed repairs. “Scared to death”, the victim withdrew approximately $ 5,000 from various local banks and purchased approximately $3,950 in gift cards to give Adams as payment.
During the investigation, the officer was able to identify Adams as the suspect. Adams is not a certified mechanic and is not licensed to perform auto-repair work in Maryland. An inspection of the victim’s vehicle performed by a local, certified repair shop revealed that no repair work had been completed nor new parts installed by Adams. The repair shop advised that the victim’s car required approximately $460.00 in repairs.
Adams was charged with obtaining property by deception, intimidation, and undue influence of a vulnerable adult and felony theft via a District Court summons that was issued on July 31.
The Montgomery County Police Department wants to again remind residents of the signs of potential scammers and the Office of Consumer Protection advises residents to only use licensed mechanics. Be cautious of door-to-door and parking lot solicitors and if you encounter people who do not seem to be providing a legitimate and legal service, call police. Also be mindful of senior family members and neighbors, who may be more vulnerable to these types of scams. Report suspicious activity to the police.