Pinellas family roofing business targets elderly victims

Pinellas Leaky Roof Ceiling collapsed in wood shop/garage.

PINELLAS COUNTY, FL (WFLA) – Moldy green water leaks stain the living room ceiling of Robert and Carolyn Marek’s Clearwater home.  Water leaks have also stained ceilings in the sewing room, as well as their backroom.   The ceiling in their garage, which serves as a wood shop, is so waterlogged it has collapsed.  The Mareks claims they noticed a couple of leaks when a guy by the name of Angelo Mitchell turned up at their front door.

Moldy green water leaks stain Robert and Carolyn Marek's living room.
Moldy green water leaks stain Robert and Carolyn Marek’s living room.
78 yr old Robert Marek and his 76 yr old wife Carolyn are out of money and their roof now leaks like a sieve.
78-yr-old Robert Marek and his 76-yr-old wife Carolyn are out of money and their roof now leaks like a sieve.

“He showed up at the house and said, we were doing another roof in the area, and maybe you need some work done,” Carolyn remembers. The Marek’s first mistake was that they fell for that line.  Their second mistake was that instead of throwing Mitchell off the property, they allowed him to climb on their roof.  He was going to fix the leaks.

“Initially it was like $750 which we thought ok, let’s see where that goes,” Carolyn said.  Where it went was in the toilet.  $9,000 later, the Mareks say Angelo Mitchell abandoned the job.

“The two places that were bad before, now we’ve got about 10,” she said.

But Mitchell’s Roofing promised a 10-year guarantee. In addition to not knowing how to correctly spell the word “guaranteed,” we found Angelo Mitchell has no roofing license, Mitchell Roofing is not registered with the state,  and detectives are preparing charges against him for this and other jobs.

This isn’t Angelo Mitchell’s first brush with the law.  In fact a prosecutor and a detective laid out for a judge the story of the Mitchell family business.

Angelo’s father, Mark Mitchell sits in the Pinellas County Jail, facing 37 different charges for running what investigators call a phony roofing company that preys on the elderly.  His victims, they claim, are all over the age of 69, some in their 90’s.  At Mark Mitchell’s July bond hearing, prosecutor Liz Jack quizzed Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office detective Brian Ward about how Mark Mitchell and family found victims.

“What is he telling them about how he acknowledges they need work done on their roof?” Jack asked Ward in court. “Just that he had seen the roof from another neighbor’s house he had just worked on, or that he had repaired the roof a few years ago and was coming back to reseal it,” detective ward testified.  Ward also stated that Mitchell and his family members showed up at those homes unsolicited.

A Blue tarp now sits on the Mareks' roof.
A blue tarp now sits on the Mareks’ roof.

During the initial contact they were quite jovial and tried to convince the victims that they knew them previously.  According to Ward, the Mitchells would typically spend 45 minutes to an hour and a half on a roof and spray some material, which he believed was paint. When they came down from the roof, Ward testified that the Mitchells would then demand payment in an inflated amount than what was quoted.  He told the judge, that if the victim objected, they became hostile, aggressive and intimidating.

Moldy green water leaks stain Robert and Carolyn Marek's living room .
Moldy green water leaks stain Robert and Carolyn Marek’s living room .

Ward testified that Mark Mitchell did not own any roofing equipment, have a license to do roof repair, and that the business was not registered with the state. Ward testified that there are victims all over Pinellas county as well as Pasco.  All of this sounds very familiar to the Mareks.

“As one investigator said if they show up, shut the door and call him immediately,” Carolyn said.

Angelo Mitchell, 31, was arrested in 2006 by Pinellas Park police and charged with burglary and possession of burglary tools.  In 2011 the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office arrested him on a charge of grand theft from a person over 65.  In 2013 Clearwater police charged him with bribery.  Also in 2013 Tampa police arrested Mitchell on a grand theft charge.

Efforts to contact Angelo Mitchell were unsuccessful.  The person who answered the number for Mitchell Roofing said there was no Angelo at that number.

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