Shreveport handyman behind bars, police seek victims - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Shreveport handyman behind bars, police seek victims


Shreveport Police say they have caught a handyman who allegedly charged customers but didn't do the work. Now, police are asking anyone who might have run across the handyman to come forward.

Donnie Russell is accused of going door to door asking people for work, taking payment up front, and never showing up to do the work. Several alleged victims have come forward saying Russell ripped them off, taking hundreds from them and refusing to do any work.

"He took $475 form me, and not a lick of work," said one victim. "It started getting really fishy. By that time he started going to my other neighbors trying to get work from them. He just didn't seem to be able to get back to anyone's work."

Russell's solicitations allegedly went further than just promising to do work. Some of his victims say he appeared to always be down on his luck. In some cases they would feel sorry for him. One victim claims she wrote him a check for $125. At the bottom in the memo line it reads 'four day loan.' That same person had Russell sign a document promising to pay back that $125.

"One of his most used ones is 'I had to walk up because my truck broke down. I need a few more dollars.' Or, 'My child is sick. I need some money.' Or, 'I need some more material. I need some more money.'," said Roger Courtney with the Shreveport Police Department.

While Russell is in jail on charges of misapplication of payment, Shreveport detectives think there could be more people out there that have been victimized by Russell.

"This guy is in jail. He's in custody. He can't get out. He can't come back to you. And, he can't contact you. Contact me," said Courtney.

Detective Courtney urges anyone who thinks they might have been the victim Russell, or if anyone is the victim of a similar crime, to call (318) 673-7004.

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