Gulfport Police Department
Media Release
 
 Chief of Police                Public Information Officer
Robert A. Vincent                 Thomas Woodman
  (727)893-1049                        (727)893-1051

David Ryals was arrested early this afternoon following a string of crimes including burglary and scheming to defraud. He has been targeting elderly, single women with bogus offers to perform handyman services. Police have identified four victims so far, ranging in age from 67 to 85 years of age.

Ryals has been linked to at least two burglaries, and he has stolen money from at least five people. In a case that occurred on January 19th, Ryals convinced a 68-year-old woman to give him a down payment on a concrete repair job. He told the woman he would do the job while she was out of town, but instead, he broke into her house and stole jewelry and other valuables.

Most recently, an 85-year-old woman reported that on Febrary 9th, Ryals agreed to do a pressure-cleaning job. He talked the woman into giving him cash to put gas in the pressure washer, but he never returned.

Police found several pieces of jewelry in Ryals' pockets when he was taken into custody, and investigators are still trying to identify owners. It is believed there may be additional incidents that have not yet been reported.

If anyone has additional information, or if you believe you may also be a victim, please contact Detective Hanh Pham at 727-893-1654.

As of 2/10/14, Ryals is charged with three counts of residential burglary and two counts of scheming to defraud.

David A. Ryals
W/M 6/30/1985




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Sgt. Thomas Woodman, PIO
Gulfport Police Department
727-893-1051 Office
727-519-4583 Cell
twoodman@mygulfport.us