Police, neighbor partner to repair roof of elderly Ellicott City couple scammed out of $33k

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. – A helpful neighbor joined a team of Howard County cops who traded their service belts for tool belts to repair the roof of an elderly couple who had been conned out of tens of thousands of dollars.

In May, the police released a heartwarming video showing how much effort some put in to make the project a success.

Patrolman First Class Jason Sagel tells the story of the initial response to Ellicott City’s home to a fraud report.

“This woman and her blind husband, they got scammed out of $33,000 by an unlicensed roofer. They did nothing but hang tar paper incorrectly and left her without shingles and took the $33,000 and left.”

After witnessing what happened, Sagel and fellow patrol officers Adam Wood and Rob Flynn huddled together to come up with a plan to help.

“We decided to get together. We have some handy guys on the squad and her neighbor is a real roofer,” Sagel said.

“Mrs. Pat called me one night when I was finishing work, and she explained to me that she thought she had been scammed,” said neighbor and contractor, Daniel Nam. “When I heard about this situation, I was absolutely furious.”

It didn’t take long for Home Depot to figure out what had happened. They agreed to provide all materials and tools for the job, including roofing nails and shingles. Other local entrepreneurs also contributed.

The cops didn’t stop there, they wanted to know who did this and bring justice to the couple.

“We’re not just going to put the roof on it and keep it to the wind,” Flynn said. “We’re going to try to silence this man so he doesn’t do it to people anymore.”

When construction was complete, the officers went straight back to investigating the case.

On July 16, an arrest warrant was issued for 30-year-old William Lee Nicholson, who charged him with financial crimes against a vulnerable adult, theft, theft and corporate charges for acting as an unauthorized contractor.

He is currently being held in a Pennsylvania prison.

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