Crime

Texas man wanted for swindling elderly Kennewick woman

Chuck Santell Baker Jr., 25, is wanted in a Kennewick fraud case.
Chuck Santell Baker Jr., 25, is wanted in a Kennewick fraud case. Photo courtesy of Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers.

A Texas man allegedly swindled an elderly Kennewick woman out of money by claiming to work for a tree service company.

Police on Monday identified Chuck Santell Baker Jr. as the suspect who cashed a check from the 76-year-old victim, according to a news release.

Baker, 25, claimed to be an employee at American Tree Service and convinced the victim to pay him for work he promised to do last week, police said. Baker was with a woman when they approached the victim.

Baker, police said, later returned to the victim’s home and got her to fork over more money to pay for a tree that he claimed was dying.

No work was ever done at the victim’s home.

The victim called the company after Baker left and learned he did not work there, police said.

Baker is wanted by Kennewick police on suspicion of fraud and by authorities in Texas and Wisconsin on suspicion of forgery, probation violations and fraud, police said.

Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers has offered a cash reward up to $1,000 for information leading to his arrest.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 509-586-8477 or 800-222-8477.

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