EDWARDSVILLE – A Houston man was charged Wednesday with aggravated home repair fraud, according to a press release from Madison County Sheriff John D. Lakin.
Sheriff’s deputies were summoned at 1:07 p.m. Feb. 2 to a home in the 900 block of East Chain of Rocks Road, Granite City, in regard to suspected home repair fraud. Deputies spoke with a senior citizen who reported he was contacted by an unsolicited man, later confirmed to be Richard D. Joles, 28, on Jan. 31 in the early hours of the afternoon. Joles told the man he was sent “by the township” to look at his roof. Joles assured the victim he would not be charged for any labor resulting from his inspection. After a short period of time on the roof, Joles informed the victim he required payment resulting from the unauthorized “repairs” he had made. The victim ultimately provided payment to Joles in the form of a personal check and property.
Detectives with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office investigated and determined Joles had no affiliation with any township or reputable home repair business. No significant improvement or repair was made to the victim’s roof.
Richard Joles was taken into custody by Illinois State Police on unrelated charges. He was remanded to the Madison County Jail, where he remains.
A review of facts by the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office was conducted and Joles was formally charged. The warrant and information on Joles was signed by Judge Richard Tognarelli. Bond was set at $75,000.
“The Madison County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind citizens to report suspicious encounters with unsolicited individuals going door to door,” the press release states. “Reputable businesses do not conduct on-the-spot repairs without first entering into a detailed mutually agreed upon contract with their clients. It is always best to rely on trusted businesses and use of the Better Business Bureau is always recommended before entering into any type of agreement regarding home repair. Local township authorities will not send unsolicited third-party representatives to private homes within their venue.”
Individuals who may have had contact with Joles or possess information about his activities are encouraged to contact the sheriff's department at (618) 692-4433 (dispatch) or (618) 296-3000 (anonymous tip line).