San Diego

No Job ‘To Big, To Small' for Handyman Scammer Targeting the Elderly

Police are trying to track down a man who they say scammed an elderly woman out of money for home repairs.

Investigators with the San Diego Police Department’s Elder Abuse Unit say John Ted Barney showed up to a Morena woman’s home last September and told her she had cracks in her driveway in need of repair.

Barney allegedly gave the woman a flyer advertising handyman services ranging from cleaning and plumbing to interior and exterior decorating. The flyer read that read “No job is to small or to big (sic).”

Barney went on to convince the 94-year-old woman that he could make repairs around her home if she paid him up front. She paid Barney a substantial amount of money for work that he never finished, SDPD said.

Police are now asking for the public’s help tracking down Barney who is wanted for grand theft of an elderly person and residential burglary. Investigators believe he has stolen from other victims in the area.

Barney also has a felony warrant for theft out of Washington state, according to SDPD.

He is described as 50 years old, 5 feet 5 inches tall, and 160 pounds. He has a medium build and brown hair and eyes. Barney may be driving a newer model white Dodge Ram truck,

SDPD says Barney is known to use the aliases Ted John, Mike Thomas and Ted Wanko.

Potential victims or anyone with information regarding Barney’s whereabouts can call SDPD’s Elder Abuse Unit at (619) 446-1070 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (88) 580-8477. Up to $1,000 is being offered to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest.

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