On September 17, 2014, PCSO deputies arrested 40-year-old Frank Hitchcock and 43-year-old Cheryl Simpson after investigation revealed the pair was contracting without a license and stole a trailer from the victim. It's possible these suspects have been operating in other areas of the state.
According to their affidavits, the 69-year-old victim located a contracting company called "All Services by Doug" on Craigslist, and contacted the business for some house repairs. Hitchcock and Simpson arrived at her home and asked to borrow her utility trailer for the job, and told her she would need to pay for the materials and repairs in advance. The victim agreed.
The suspects removed the bathtub out of the victim's home, but did not do any work. They cashed approximately $1200 worth of checks that the victim wrote to them. They did not return the trailer that they took from the victim.
On September 12, 2014, the victim received six unpaid toll violation notices dated July 31, 2014, which were assigned to her stolen trailer. The victim then contacted PCSO.
Deputies learned that the business "All Services by Doug" is not licensed with the Florida Department of Business Regulation and Licensing. It was incorporated in Palm Beach County in 2010. The suspect who took the trailer was positively identified as Hitchcock.
Hitchcock was arrested by LPD on September 7, 2014, for DWLSR and Non-payment of Child Support. Deputies responded to the Polk County Jail to interview him. He admitted to not returning the trailer, and told deputies he left it at a Motel 6 where he was staying. He told deputies that he did most of the work he promised to do, but just had a disagreement with the victim. He has been additionally charged with: 2 counts Contracting Without a License, 2 counts Grand Theft, and one count Scheming to Defraud.
Deputies responded to the Motel 6 and learned Cheryl Simpson had checked out of the room she shared with Hitchcock. The trailer was not found. Deputies learned from the hotel manager that Simpson likely stole the television from the room, as it was missing after she checked out. Deputies located a witness in the city of Lakeland who purchased the television from Simpson (this case was turned over to LPD).
During the investigation, deputies obtained an arrest warrant for Simpson, and then learned that Simpson was responding to the South County Jail in an attempt to post bond for Hitchcock. She was arrested by PCSO deputies at the jail. During a search of her vehicle, deputies located cocaine and paraphernalia. She was placed under arrest and charged with: 2 counts Grand Theft, 2 counts Defrauding Secondhand Metal Recycler, 2 counts Dealing in Stolen Property, 2 counts Contracting Without a License, Scheming to Defraud, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Maintaining Vehicle for Drug Use, and Unlawful Possession of Suspended D.L.
Both Hitchcock and Simpson are suspects in other investigations in Polk County, and possibly suspects in investigations in other parts of the state.
If you recognize these suspects and feel you may have been victimized by them or if you have done any business with "All Services by Doug" please contact PCSO at 863-577-1600 or 863-678-4115. They are likely targeting the elderly.
The investigation is ongoing. Their mugshots are attached.