Jan 14, 2012 1:14 AM by Stefanie Boe
A Colorado Springs man has been arrested in Polk County, Florida, accused of being a "traveler."
Bartholomew Rafferty, 33, of Colorado Springs and four others were arrested after local authorities set up a sting operation. They were trying to catch contractors scamming elderly people for home repairs.
Sheriff's investigators say the five are all members of the underground community known as "travelers" or gypsies.
"These scam artists prey on unsuspecting victims," Sheriff Grady Judd said in the news release. "They target the elderly because they are more trusting; thus making them easier targets for quick scams. And by the time the crime has been committed, the suspect is long gone, the victim has been swindled out of their money and must hire legitimate businesses to 'fix' work which wasn't needed in the first place, or was done at substandard levels."
They face an array of charges, including exploitation of the elderly, burglary, grand theft, and worker's compensation fraud. All are being held on $20,000.00 bond per count.