Alleged Scammer Behind Bars

Alleged Scammer Behind Bars

A man suspected of being a master scam artist operating in numerous states is jailed in Wichita County.

A man suspected of being a master scam artist operating in numerous states is jailed in Wichita County on bonds totaling more than a half million dollars.

This after Burkburnett Police say yet another elderly woman falls victim to his electrical repair scam.

43-year-old Steven Frank Cranford has two charges in Wichita County connected to exploiting the elderly, to add to numerous others in Texas and several other states.

Cranford lists his address at Wills Point, Texas, but if news stories and affadavits are correct he did a lot of traveling last summer.

He has now been returned to Wichita County to face charges here.

We do not know for sure how many crimes and attempted crimes he may be involved in, but arrest records and news stories indicate he is very proficient and moves quickly.

A partial time line from what we've found out so far... the affadavit for Missouri in April is typical of the alleged scam.

An 82-year-old victim says Cranford told her a computer program indicated electrical wiring problems in her home.

She says he went in the attic and showed her wires with burn marks and holes he said were chewed by squirrels.

He told her there had already been a fire in the attic and she paid him $16,000 for a complete re-wiring.

Bank surveillance video shows the suspect at the bank a short time after he left her home.

No repairs were ever made.

Cranford has a long record and has bonds set or pending in Wichita County on charges from 13 counties in at least four states.

The news stories are much the same no matter the state. 

A man posing as a repairman or electrical company representative targets elderly women.

In the Burk case, the 82-year-old woman says the man never returned after getting her check, and had already cashed it by the time she tried to stop payment.

A Burk electrical contractor she called checked her attic and said no repairs were made and he found the burned wire the man showed her in the attic.

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