By Paul Singley
Naugatuck, Conn., police have arrested a second man in connection with a case that they say was an attempt to defraud a 73-year-old Naugatuck resident.
Police have charged Sean Algaze, 26, of Huntington, with performing trade work without a license, conspiracy at second-degree larceny, first-degree reckless endangerment and violation of state building codes.
The case was brought to the attention of the Naugatuck Police Department when a Grove Street woman said a man contacted her in June saying he was cleaning chimneys in the area at a discounted rate, police said. He said he could offer her a 50 percent off discount because it was the spring season, according to police.
When the man arrived at the woman's house, he looked at the chimney and told her there was something structurally wrong with it, police said. He went through a laundry list of problems and said they would cost $1,200 to repair, said Lt. Bryan Cammarata, Naugatuck police spokesman.
“The woman agrees and gives the man a check of $600 as a deposit,” he said. “When the man comes back, he says it would cost an additional $1,200 worth of work to fix all of the supposed problems with the chimney. By now, the woman realizes something is wrong and calls us.”
Naugatuck Officer Andre Moutella took a report and got Detective Jay Pugliese involved. Pugliese contacted the Fire Marshal and the Building Inspector’s office. The building inspector investigated and said the chimney looked fine; he said all the man did was put a tray on the concrete foundation at the base of the chimney.
Furthermore, the building inspector said the way the tray was installed could have caused a block in the ventilation system. It also could have potentially caused harmful amounts of carbon monoxide to fill inside the house, the police report states.
Police discovered that the contractor, Patrick Webb, of Middle Island had a legitimate contractor’s license but was not properly licensed for some of the work he performed and promised to perform.
He was charged with willful performance of craftsmen work without a license; second-degree larceny of a victim more than 60 years old; conspiracy at second-degree larceny; first-degree reckless endangerment and violation of state building codes.
He was held on a $25,000 bond and appeared at Waterbury Superior Court on Wednesday.
Webb may have been involved in similar scams across Connecticut and New York, police said.