The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

May 9, 2013

Tarboro repairman charged with B&E


TARBORO — A Tarboro home repairman was arrested for breaking and entering after his failed attempt to scam money from a Main Street homeowner.

According to reports, Travis Lee Sanders, 28, visited a resident's home he had previously repaired and told the owner she owed him money. The homeowner denied that allegation.

Sanders returned back to the house sometimes Monday when the  homeowner was not at home and reportedly crawled under the house and entered the basement.

When the homeowner returned home around 4:30 p.m., the house alarm activated. Tarboro Police Department and its K-9 unit responded to the scene to find the suspect had apparently left.

The homeowner told investigators she heard noises in the basement before they arrived. She also said several items in the basement was disturbed.

Sanders immediately became a suspect after the homeowner told investigators about the repairman's attempt to collect money from her. Tarboro Police Department Lt. Al Braxton also provided a clue that placed the suspect at the victim's house. Braxton said around noon Monday he saw Sanders in the victim's yard shaking his shirt. At that time, there was no reason to consider that Sanders had committed a crime, Braxton said.

Braxton identified Sanders in a photo which made him the prime suspect. Sanders was called in for questioning and he denied breaking into the house. Information from another witness tied Sanders to the crime and he was arrested and place in Edgecombe County Detention Center under a $25,000 bond.

Braxton applauded the officers for the effort to quickly apprehend the suspect. He also warned citizens to beware of home repair scams that are usually prevalent during the spring and summer.  

"Be weary of the possible home repair scammers," he said. "Always ask for their licenses and call the town inspector, or references."