A man who police say conned multiple North Texas homeowners out of thousands of dollars by posing as an employee of a roofing company is in custody after being arrested Friday in Dallas.
Joshua Bell, 36, was arrested by the U.S. Marshals North Texas Fugitive Task Force and Mesquite police. Police say he posed as a roofing repairman and took thousands of dollars from homeowners in Arlington and Mesquite for repairs that were unnecessary or never actually done.
Mesquite police said they learned of the scam on Feb. 4. Bell showed up at the home of an elderly Vietnam veteran and persuaded her to pay him $17,000 for “repairs” to her roof, convincing her that she would be reimbursed through insurance, police said.
The next day, he did essentially the same thing in Arlington, police say. He went to a home in the 300 block of Circle Drive, told the homeowners that his name was Michael and that he was an employee from a local roofing company — one that they’d used before, police said. He told the homeowners that he wanted to make repairs to their roof before their warranty expired, and they wrote him a check for $1,200.
Later, police said, the homeowners showed a manager from the roofing company a video of Bell taken by their home surveillance camera. The manager said Bell wasn’t an employee of the company. The business also looked at the homes roof and said no repairs had been done.
Arlington police said they learned their case was related to the one in Mesquite after posting about it on the department’s Facebook page Wednesday.
Mesquite police said Bell has ties to the Austin and Gainesville areas and that he travels frequently between Dallas and Austin.
Public records show he was convicted of burglary of habitation in 2004 and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was out of prison in 2011, records show. In 2013, he got nine more years for theft in Gainesville and Cooke counties.
Bell is being held in the Dallas County Jail on four charges — theft of property over $2,500 and below $30,000; theft of property over $750 and under $2,500; a parole violation and possession of a prohibited substance in a correction facility.