Sunday, December 17, 2017
Public safety

Even after first arrest, Hernando pest control salesman visits victim to collect

BROOKSVILLE — When rogue pest control salesman Luis Angel Roman came calling Monday morning, his victim already was armed with knowledge, investigators say.

Last month, the 86-year-old Brooksville woman paid Roman half of a $1,500 contract for pest control services, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. A few weeks later, she saw a news report about Roman's arrest on grand theft charges and filed a report with the Sheriff's Office.

The 41-year-old Roman, of Spring Hill, had been fired from A-1 Pest Control, but continued to draw up service contracts and kept the money for himself, investigators said.

On Monday, the woman was shocked to find Roman — out on bail after his Aug. 30 arrest — at her door to collect the other half of her payment, said Detective Irene Gray. The woman told Roman to come back the next day. When he did, Gray and another detective were waiting for him.

Now Roman faces two more counts of larceny and one additional count of fraud. He was being held Tuesday in the Hernando County Detention Center, this time without the option to post bail.

"He was very surprised," Gray said. "He's still feeling like he's done nothing wrong. He said he still works for A-1 and was only collecting the other half of the contract."

In fact, Gray said, Roman was terminated on Aug. 7, three days before he showed up at the woman's house the first time.

According to the company's general manager, Roman was let go because his driver's license had been suspended and his sales had dropped, Gray said.

Now, investigators suspect that Roman was scamming customers and his employer months before he was fired. Gray said there is evidence that Roman drew up renewal contracts, told the customers to make out checks to A-1, then drew up separate contracts for additional services. For those contracts, however, Roman told the customers to leave the checks blank or make them out to cash, Gray said.

It's unclear whether Roman visited other customers after posting bail, Gray said. So far, she has seven open cases, and all of the alleged victims are elderly.

Gray suspects there are more victims. Anyone who suspects he might be a victim is asked to contact her at (352) 797-3718 or [email protected]

Tony Marrero can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1431.

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