The San Angelo Police Department wants citizens to watch out for unreliable contractors and independent handypersons who may try to “clean up” by making a quick buck off victims of Friday’s storm.
The Department has already received reports of scammers, mostly independent handypersons who are offering cleanup and repair services at inflated rates. Other organizations and contractors, often referred to as “storm chasers”, will soon be traveling to Tom Green preying on that damage. These door-to-door scammers are a real threat; they rip-off consumers with promises of great work at cheap prices.
Consumers should be wary of anyone showing up at your door offering services. If anyone comes to your door offering to begin work on damage, take their information and tell them that you will follow up if you are interested.
If your property has been damaged as a result of severe weather, follow these Better Business Bureau tips:
- When approached by a contractor, ask for proof of licensing and bonding.
- Try to get at least 3-4 quotes from contractors, and insist that payments be made to the company, not an individual.
- Do not pay for the job in advance. Be wary of any contractor who demands full payment up front.
- Do not hire people who show up at your door offering services such as tree or debris removal and roof repair.
- Resist high-pressure sales tactics such as the "good deal" you'll get only if you hire the contractor on the spot.
- Check out the company first with the BBB at www.bbb.org and deal only with reputable local contractors.
- Get a written contract that specifies the price, the work to be done, and a time frame for completion.
- Pay by credit card, if possible; you may have additional protection if there's a problem. Otherwise, pay by check. Never pay in cash.
- Prices are often high in the immediate aftermath of a storm. Buy only the services that are necessary to make your home safe and habitable. Wait at least a few days to hire other contractors because the rates are likely to drop.
- Check that the contractor's vehicle has signs or markings on it with the business name and phone number.
- Be sure that all promises made are put in writing.
At approximately 7:00 p.m. on Friday, June 23, 2017, San Angelo was impacted by a severe storm that taxed first responders and dispatchers.
San Angelo’s resources performed beyond expectation in emergency operations and many off-duty SAPD Officers and Dispatchers reported to work without being asked.
During Friday’s storm, San Angelo Public Safety Communications recorded seven hundred sixty-two (762) calls from 8:00 p.m. through midnight. This included all incoming non-emergency, 911, abandoned, and outgoing calls. To put this volume into perspective, during that four hour time period, dispatchers averaged 190.5 calls per hour. In comparison, dispatchers averaged 115 total calls during the same four hour period the previous Friday for an average of 28.75 calls per hour.
Throughout the duration of the storm, our Officers responded to numerous incidents in concert with partner agencies , assisting with life-threatening tree and electrical hazards, traffic issues caused by downed signals, signs, utility lines, and debris in roadways, alarm calls, grass and structure fires, traffic crashes, as well as other non-storm related calls for service.
One noteworthy issue attributed to the large call volume was by citizens who called Police and Fire Dispatch to report power outages or to inquire about estimated repair times. San Angelo Police and Fire Dispatch lines ( 911 and non-emergency 325-657-4315) should never be used to report power outages or to inquire about estimated repair times. These reports should go directly to AEP by calling 1-866-223-8508 or online at https://www.aeptexas.com/outages/report. Department officials are asking citizens to save this important contact information for future reference and to help us keep emergency lines open for true emergencies.
As we move forward into Texas’s severe weather season, we ask citizens to be prepared. Visit www.ready.gov/severe-weather to develop a plan, monitor local National Weather Service updates at http://www.weather.gov/sjt/ or by smart phone weather application, and to subscribe to local public safety alerts at https://local.nixle.com/san-angelo-police-department/.
Residents of San Angelo and the surrounding area are cautioned to be aware of a telephone phishing scam to collect money from fake warrants.
The San Angelo Police Department has received reports from citizens who have been contacted by individuals via telephone who are portraying themselves as representatives of the San Angelo Police Department. Although the Caller ID shows a 325 area code, we believe the calls are originating from out of the area.
In this scam, the suspected caller attempts to deceive the victim by advising them of an outstanding fine or warrant and that they must pay the fine immediately to avoid going to jail. The scammer will then provide a fraudulent solution, such as purchasing a pre-paid credit card in the amount of the fictitious fine. Prepaid cards are just like paying in cash — once the money is gone, you can’t get it back.
The San Angelo Police Department never contacts individuals over the telephone to demand payment for outstanding fines or warrants, in fact, we do not collect fines. As for warrants, we prefer face-to-face contact, followed by a short drive to the Tom Green County Jail.
As a reminder, never give personal identifying information – including banking information – over the phone or to strangers.
If contacted, simply hang up and block the call if your device allows. If you have fallen victim to this crime, contact your local law enforcement agency to file a report and report the imposter to the Federal Trade Commision at ftc.gov/complaint. Select the category “Scams and Rip-offs” then “Impostor Scams”.
Just after midnight, San Angelo Police were dispatched to the Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham, 4649 W. Houston Harte Expressway, for the report of an armed, incoherent subject who was alarming guests.
When Officers arrived, they were directed to the hotel’s rear exit where they observed a shirtless man who was armed with a large knife, handsaw, and hammer.
Officers attempted to establish communication with the man, who was acting aggressively and appeared to be under the influence of an unknown intoxicant, but the man did not respond to their verbal commands.
While Officers distracted the man, another Officer snuck up from behind and tackled him, which caused him to fall and lose control of the weapons. He was taken into custody after a brief struggle.
The man, who identified himself to Officers as ‘Lucifer’, was taken to Shannon Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries he sustained from the tackle. He was later identified as Frank Dominguez, III, 27, of San Angelo.
Dominguez was released from medical care and transported to the Tom Green County Jail where he was charged with Public Intoxication, Resist Arrest Search or Transport, Failure to Identify Giving False/Fictitious Information, and Criminal Trespass.
Officers canvassed the hotel to ensure there were no additional suspects and no guests were injured during the incident.
Today, members of the San Angelo Police Department’s Street Crimes and Patrol Divisions, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), United States Marshals Service (USMS), and the Department of Public Safety’s Criminal Investigations Division (DPS CID) apprehended the following subjects on a variety of Federal grand jury indictments:
Frank Flores 8/12/69 – Firearm violation, No Bond
Sherman Sutton 2/11/95 – Firearm violation, No Bond
Tramain Price 8/17/89 – Firearm violation, No Bond
Oscar Mendez, 9/22/76 – Controlled Substance violation, No Bond
Michael Eric Doerr, 9/6/72 – Child pornography, No Bond
Justin Linthicum 10/2/89 – Firearm violation, Already incarcerated
These subjects were placed under US Marshal holds at the Tom Green County Jail.