A Berwyn man is accused of trying to con Orland Park homeowners into shoddy property repairs while charging full price.
Ricky Zito, 43, of the 3600 block of South Harlem Avenue, was charged with aggravated home repair fraud, home repair fraud and violating conditions of bail. The Orland Park Police Department was called Tuesday by a homeowner in the 14300 block of Raneys Lane about a man who was trying to convince the resident to let him do cement work on the property, according to a release from the department.
The 76-year-old homeowner was suspicious of the man, recognizing signs from various community alerts about home repair scams and ruse burglaries, but the man continued to play along with Zito out of fear, police said.
Zito continued to push to perform the cement work, and the homeowner gave him a small amount of cash after Zito spread a sand mixture on a crack in the property’s concrete, according to the release. The homeowner called police and gave a description of Zito and the GMC Envoy he was driving after he drove away.
Zito was caught driving in Hickory Hills, and admitted to putting down the sand mixture in the cracked concrete on Raneys Lane, police said.
Zito was also identified in a similar home repair scam that happened earlier in the day Tuesday in the 15300 block of Thistlewood in Orland Park. Zito approached the 47-year-old female homeowner, said he had performed previous work on the house and tried to negotiate a price to fill cracks in concrete, according to the release. The cracks were filled with a wet sand mixture, and Zito admitted to this scam as well.
Zito appeared at the Bridgeview Courthouse Wednesday morning and was given $3 million bail for the aggravated home repair fraud charge, $50,000 bail for the home repair fraud charge and another $50,000 bail for the violating conditions of bail charge.
His next court date and whether he remains in custody or not was not immediately available.
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