‘Chimney repair man’ facing fraud charges

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A Dawn-Euphemia man is facing fraud charges after a door-to-door scam which duped people in six communities.

Elgin OPP received a call from a homeowner Jan. 8, after a man stopped at their home and offered to fix their chimney. The man asked for a $200 cash deposit and said he would be back to complete the work. He never came back.

The investigating officer figured out the man’s identity and found that a number of other people in Petrolia, St. Clair Township, Brooke-Alvinston, Southwest Middlesex, Dawn-Euphemia and Quinte West lost money in the same scheme. Police believe more than $10,000 was taken as ‘deposits’ for work never completed.

On May 23, an Orillia OPP officer flagged a vehicle just west of the city after the Automated Licence Plater Recognition system showed a “Wanted Persons” alert.

The driver was taken into custody for the warrant for his arrest and sent to Elgin County.

Gary Clarkson, 50, of Dawn-Euphemia, has been charged with seven counts of fraud under $5,000.

He’s been released on bail and will be back in court June 18.