NewsGood To Know


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

Accused scammer in custody
Neighbor joins police in repairing elderly Ellicott City couple's roof after $33k scam
Posted at 1:24 PM, Jul 16, 2021

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — A helpful neighbor joined a squad of Howard County Police officers who traded their duty belts for tool belts in order to repair the roof of an elderly couple scammed out of tens-of-thousands of dollars.

Back in May, the police department released a heartwarming video that showed the lengths some went to for the project to come together.

Patrolman First Class Jason Sagel tells the story of first responding to the Ellicott City home for a fraud report.

"This woman and her blind husband, they were scammed out of $33,000 by a roofing contractor who wasn't licensed, didn't do anything except for put up tar paper incorrectly, and left her with no shingles on her roof, and took the $33,000 and left."

After witnessing what took place, Sagel and fellow patrolmen Adam Wood and Rob Flynn huddled together to come up with a plan to help.

"We decided to come together. We have some handy guys on the squad and her neighbor's an actual roofer," said Sagel.

"Ms. Pat called me over one night when I got off of work, and she explained to me she thought she got scammed," said neighbor and contractor, Daniel Nam. "When I heard about this situation, I was absolutely furious."

It wasn't long until Home Depot heard about what happened. They agreed to provide all the materials and tools for the job, including roofing nailers and shingles. Other local businesses also pitched in.

The officers didn't stop there, they wanted to find out who did this and bring justice for the couple.

"We're not gonna just put the roof up and call it a day," said Flynn. "We're going to try to still, you know get this guy charged so he stops doing it to people."

Once construction was complete, the officers got right back to investigating the case.

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

He's currently being held at a jail in Pennsylvania.