Police: 'Fake roofing contractor swindles elderly'


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is on the hunt Tuesday for a man portraying himself as a legitimate roofing contractor while swindling people out of their money.

Police said Goran Popovic would find homeowners and pass himself off as a legitimate roofing contractor working for Sunshine State Restorations.

Popovic allegedly would draw up contracts with the unsuspecting victims to repair their roof as part of an insurance claim, get them to pay for the repairs and then never return to finish the work he promised.

According to police, more than a half dozen victims have been identified and officials said the Popovic stole more than $20,000.

Many of Popovic's victims were elderly and police said there may be more victims who have not come forward.

Popovic is wanted for schemes to defraud. He is described as a 44-year-old white male, who is 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 300 to 320 pounds. Witnesses said he has brown hair and brown eyes.

Police are asking anyone with information about where Popovic may be, or anyone who may have been victimized by Popovic, to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or by email at JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org.

People with information can remain anonymous and possibly receive a reward up to $3,000 by contacting Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said that before you let anyone do work on your house, make sure you check them out through the Better Business Bureau and make sure they are legitimate. 

"Always check a person out no matter who it is, even if they have a truck with the name on the side, some people assume that if they have a business truck that they are a commercial business and are legitimate but that isn't always the case," Smith said.

Smith also said that you should never completely pay for service up front. 

"You should not be paying all the money up front. Maybe a small percentage, and then pay the rest after the work is complete,"