.

Police Warn About Scam in Hollin Hall

Man soliciting without a license is taking advantage of local residents, police say.

Fairfax County police are warning residents of Hollin Hall and surrounding neighborhoods about a man soliciting for odd jobs without a license and taking advantage of senior citizens.

Vernon Lewis Williams, 59, was charged Monday with soliciting without a license and felony obtaining money by false pretense, master police officer Greg Kottemann with the Mount Vernon District Station told local residents in an email. Williams was arrested after a concerned citizen called police.

Police say Williams, who is 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds, was going door-to-door soliciting odd jobs. He drives a 1994 Dodge with Virginia license plate number XEE-1929.

The felony charge stemmed from further investigation into another case in which Williams is accused of scamming a local resident.

Police say Williams is out of jail on bond and could return to the neighborhood. They are asking any residents whom Williams has approached for work, offered services to haul away items, trim or cut trees or do home improvements to contact police at 703-360-8400.

Kottemann said Williams has also been accused of dumping items and littering on private and public property, but police do not have probable cause to charge him with those offenses at the time.

Love Patch? Stay informed about local news with our daily newsletter! Sign up at forthunt.patch.com/newletters.

Barry Meuse August 30, 2012 at 01:44 PM
I hope there's more to the story that driving around looking for work which teenagers as well as 59 year old men routinely do to support themselves - stories like this- with assertions of wrongdoing but no supporting information - are not helpful - as is the police publishing 'accusations of wrongdoing' without evidence to support a charge. The are a lot of accusations made daily - some in piqué with no substance - we could all find our face on a poster published by the police if this is the standard. Where are we headed w/ this?
C D Lawrence August 30, 2012 at 06:47 PM
What makes you think that these charges are unsubstantiated? The police may have facts that they do not release to the public in on-going cases.. This person has a felony obtaining money charge. Not a few bucks for cutting the lawn obviously. As a business owner, I have legal obligations which protect both my company and those I do work for. Some of these obligations show I have proper insurance and licensing to perform the work for which I am asking a fair sum of money. If he is stating that he has these things and does not, and takes money for services requiring those obligations be met, he is breaking the law and he should be locked up.
WaynewoodNews August 31, 2012 at 01:32 AM
He has also done work in Waynewood.
Curveball August 31, 2012 at 02:47 AM
This guy approached me a few weeks ago and I said I do my own work and he politely moved on. (I am not elderly and thus probably did not fit his method of operation.) But as for complaints here that the Patch story doesn't tell us what happened -- doesn't tell us the real story -- I agree. The police have taken one or more reports and based on that information they have charged this man with one or more felonies. Those reports must be and are open to the public. They contain all the basic information and details that led to the arrest. If the Patch insisted on getting the reports, we'd get the information. We would know what has been going on in our neighborhoods that we need to beware of. To the Patch reporters: don't be afraid to ask for, and if necessary demand, the reports. And if the police tell you the reports are sensitive and they can't release them to you, they're wrong. Please look it up.
boilermaker August 31, 2012 at 02:36 PM
i normally do not chime in on such matters, but feel as if i should on this particular subject. first let me be very clear that i do not care if someone who needs work and is willing to do odd jobs comes knocking on my door. if i have the work available, i will do my best to help someone out. now with that being said, i have had first hand experience with this man and have helped him out a couple of times with finding some odd jobs around my house. at first he seemed harmless enough, but that took a turn very quickly stopping by al the time, not taking no for an answer even after being told that if work was available we would call him. my neighbor has also had similar problems with him, but he has taken it to another level with that family. knocking on their door and then when they don't answer walking around looking through windows, amongst many other things that were what i would deem crossing a line. now i could give you a laundry list of other things i have seen or heard about him doing, but it would take me to long. for now all the neighbors need to know is that these accusations are more than likely substantiated, and frankly im surprised there haven't been issues prior to now.
C D Lawrence August 31, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Let the police do their job. And don't confuse the Patch with a hard-line journalism newspaper. They are merely making the local public aware of a scam artist. (And most of us appreciate the "heads-up".- Thanks Rachel!)
Sean Sr. August 31, 2012 at 09:30 PM
I see merit in each point of view here. No means No! Now, what can be done about Thompson Creek canvassing the neighborhood every three weeks and knocking on my door. Yes, I need windows, and no, I'm not interested in yours, please stop asking!!! Happy Labor Day!

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something