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Police searching for man accused of posing as city worker to steal from elderly women

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CHARLESTON, WV (WCHS/WVAH)- Charleston Police are calling 47-year old Willis Caudill a threat to the community.

 

He’s accused of targeting the elderly and in some cases becoming violent. Now, a manhunt is underway across state lines to track him down.

“He’s been a one man crime wave from Charleston to Huntington, to Bluefield and Bluefield, Virginia,” said Charleston Police Chief, Steve Cooper.

 

Cooper said Caudill faces multiple felony charges after stealing from the elderly, committing credit card fraud and failing to register as a sex offender.

Police says last week in Kanawha City, Caudill posed as a city employee then told a 88-year old woman he had to check her bathroom water pressure and sewage, while in her home he stole her purse and credit cards.

“He used her credit card in numerous places between here and Huntington,” Cooper said.

But police said his schemes don’t end there, in Cabell County, investigators said he targeted a widow at a cemetery.

“She had been decorating graves and he tricked her into believing her car lost a piece and he was trying to give it back and he was able to steal her purse and credit card,” Cooper said.

Police said Caudill is driving a silver 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a West Virginia license plate and number of 1MZ854.

The same jeep was spotted in Bluefield, Virginia where Caudill is a suspect in a robbery case.

Bluefield police said a 90-year old woman was the target and when she confronted him, she was shoved into a closet.

“We have such a sense of urgency of getting Mr. Caudill into custody as soon as possible because we believe is absolute danger to elderly females in this region,” Cooper said.

While the search continues, police issuing a strong reminder to trust your gut and always ask for ID if someone comes to your door claiming to be a utility worker.

“Demand identification, see a uniform and if something doesn’t feel right call 911 and lock your door,” said Cooper.

Police said if you have any information or see Willis Caudill to give them a call.



Daniella Hankey

Good Morning West Virginia! Daniella Hankey is the Morning and Noon newscast Anchor. Daniella joined Newswatch as a Multi-Media journalist and quickly moved her way up to an Anchor. Before landing in the beautiful Mountain State, Daniella called her home Orlando, Florida. Armed with a major in Communications and Media Studies and a minor in Education, Daniella relocated to further her career. During her time at Stetson, she covered several big stories on and off campus including the June 2016 Pulse Night Club shooting and Hurricane Matthew. She worked as a news anchor and reporter for her college news station and enjoyed an internship in productions at PBS. Her love for journalism started in high school when she was selected as a Bright House Varsity Reporter as well as the school anchor. When Daniella is not working, you can find her exploring West Virginia especially the Greenbrier and engaging with community members. As a morning anchor, Daniella loves putting a smile on viewers faces in the morning and informing them of community events. If you have any story ideas or news tips, please email Daniella at dhankey@woay.com. You can also follow Daniella on Facebook at DaniellaHankeyTV.


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