UPDATE July 30, 2015 —
SEATAC, Wash. — Less than 24 hours after Larry’s Aycock’s story aired on Q13 FOX News, one of two suspects accused of scamming the retired Navy veteran out of $3,700 is in custody.
Aycock hired them to dig up some old tree roots and smooth out the pavement on his driveway.
SeaTac Police knew the suspects were driving an old Pape’ Machinery truck purchased in Eastern Washington.
“A truck driver was at a motel in Fife, saw the truck the suspect was driving. All the decals had been removed and the truck driver recognized the license plate, recognized the decals had been removed and called Fife PD,” said SeaTac Chief Lisa Mulligan.
The tipster told officers, ‘You don’t mess with a Navy man.’
Chief Mulligan says the suspect was standing outside the truck police arrived.
“They used a finger print scanner to get his real identity,” she said.
Larry told police the man claimed his name was Pedro Rios.” Turns out, it’s actually Steve Ephram. He was wanted in Utah for fraud.
Police are still searching for the woman seen on video at a bank with Ephram cashing Larry’s check. Her name is Tina George.
“I think it’s pitiful that people would take advantage of our seniors in our community and much less being a veteran, we appreciate your service,” said Josh Harris with Integrity Construction.
After he saw Larry’s story, he quickly offered t do the $10,000 in repairs for free.
“Be a couple days where we’ll jack hammer this all up. Rip it up, haul it off out of here. Form it up and then we’ll pour the concrete,” said Harris.
His crew is currently working on a church but plans to start construction at Larry’s home on Aug. 10th.
“Home Depot sponsors our non-profit side of our construction company where we help with projects so home depot and we’re gonna try to get one of our concrete vendors to help out a little bit,” said Harris.
Larry is looking forward to that day and feeling blessed.
“I’m just overwhelmed. I really am,” he said after giving Harris a hug who plans to take the widower to a Tacoma Rainiers baseball game.
Larry was married for 52 years but lost his beloved Kay four years ago on Easter Sunday. He got rid of all the things in the house that reminded him of her because it was just too painful so Harris and his crew are also bringing Larry a new couch.
Meanwhile, SeaTac police are encouraging any other victims to come forward.
“This is not the first place this is happened. It’s probably happened here again in SeaTac. If this has happened to anyone in the public, we ask that they come forward, call 911 or the SeaTac police department directly and we’ll come out and talk to them and get started on figuring out how to unwind that case,” said Chief Mulligan.
WANTED July 28, 2015 --
SEATAC, Wash. -- SeaTac Police are looking for two suspects and warning neighbors to be on the lookout for a Pape' Machinery truck being used fraudulently in a scam involving bogus landscapers.
Detectives say Pedro Rios and Tina George stole $3,700 from retired Navy veteran Larry Aycock after he paid them to repair his driveway. Tree roots are splitting the pavement, pushing it up and creeping towards his home.
"I was seriously thinking about how am I going to this done before winter when it shows up, right?" said Aycock.
When Pedro knocked on his door and offered to fix it for well below what it should have cost, Aycock was skeptical.
"I asked him for his contractor's license. you know what? I just don't have it with me. I'll bring it next time I come," Aycock says Pedro told him.
After he says he gave him $1,000 for materials, Pedro and Tina returned.
"He said. 'I need more material and I gotta get a whole load of it and they're gonna ship it but won't turn loose of it until they get the payment on it.'"
Bank surveillance video shows the two suspects cashing Aycock's check. They never showed up to fix his driveway. Aycock is no easy mark. He spent 24 years as an electronics technician in the Navy, primarily working on Destroyers and Cruisers.
However, Pedro's pickup truck looked legitimate. It had Pape' decals on both sides and the tailgate. When he called the company?
"They said nobody works here with that name."
The company released a statement that says, "Pape' Machinery is very concerned about reports of individuals allegedly driving a Pape Machinery branded pickup truck, and taking money from people to repair driveways, schedule yard maintenance, etc. and then not doing the work. The individuals using this pickup truck do not work for any Pape' company, and the vehicle itself has not been owned by Pape' for some time."
Police say the white Chevy extended cab pickup truck was purchased in Eastern Washington. Detectives even have a picture of the license plate taken by a red-light camera. It reads B78029Z.
"The problem is they never changed the title so the license plate still comes back to Pape who originally owned the vehicle," said Jim Fuda with Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound who is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information on the suspects whereabouts.
"These are the lowest type of fraud suspects because they prey on people that are elderly. This could be anybody's parents or grandparents," said Fuda.
SeaTac Police are certain there are more victims and are asking them to come forward. Meanwhile, Aycock is still worried about his driveway that he can't afford to get fixed.
If you have any information on the case or know where the suspects can be found, call an anonymous tip into:
CRIME STOPPERS: 1-800-222-TIPS
You must call the Crime Stoppers hotline with your tip to be eligible to receive a cash reward for information leading to a fugitive’s arrest.
CLICK HERE for information on how to TEXT A TIP to Crime Stoppers.