If the Saanich police department had its way, door-to-door salespeople – except Girl Guides – would be a thing of the past.
A fraudster offering handyman work at the door has scammed a handful of elderly victims around the region out of tens of thousands of dollars.
Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen says there have been four incidents since March involving a man going door-to-door and offering to power-washing, painting or driveway resealing services.
In all incidents, which have taken place in Saanich, Central Saanich and Oak Bay, the victims have been at least 80 years old, and have been convinced to pay upfront – but then little to no work is ever done.
Among the victims is an 88-year-old Saanich man, whose credit and debit cards were stolen by the Mr. Fixit suspect, and upwards of $15,000 worth of unauthorized transactions were recorded on his cards.
Most of the victims paid in the range of $1,000 upfront for the unfinished odd jobs.
“Don’t accept solicitations at your door. Period,” Jantzen advised, acknowledging that elderly residents are likely targeted due to being accustomed to the days of trusty door-to-door salespeople. “Now people coming to your door to sell you something is not a good thing.”
Police are concerned that in two of the incidents, the suspect escorted their elderly victims, via taxi, to the bank to withdraw money.
Jantzen said there are similarities among all victims’ reports, including the suspect’s description, and the name and business name he uses. The suspect goes by the name Kevin Gordon from James Bay Power Washing.
He is described as a slim, white man in his mid-30s, approximately 6 feet tall. He has tattoos on his arms and neck, and may be missing teeth.
Jantzen said police are continuing to investigate these frauds. Although there are multiple Kevin Gordons living in Victoria, there is one who has criminal history consistent with these recent incidents.
Police are advising family members of elderly individuals to speak with their parents about the potential dangers of door-to-door solicitations, and not seeking out the services of a reputable businesses.
Jantzen says investigators also believe there are more victims in the region who have not yet reported being defrauded.
Police are asking anyone with information to contact investigators at 250-475-4321.