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Police seeking 'contractor' for tap-in scheme

| Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 3:15 p.m.
William E. Rager

Police are searching for a Greensburg man accused of bilking Washington Township residents out of nearly $18,000 for sewage tap-ins he did not perform.

An arrest warrant was issued for William Earl Rager, 34, of 110 Cannon Drive, Greensburg, by Magisterial District Justice Jesse Cramer of Belle Vernon for eight separate counts of theft by deception and receiving stolen property.

In each incident, police said Rager took checks from the alleged victims – mostly under the guise of written contracts – after agreeing to install sewage lines from August to October of 2012.

In nearly every case, Rager never returned to start the work and repeated attempts to contact him afterward were futile.

Police did not release the names of the alleged victims, most of whom reported the scam to police in the past two weeks.

According to affidavits of probable cause filed with Cramer, Washington Township police are pressing charges on the following incidents:

• On Aug. 1 and Aug. 16, 2012, Rager took checks in the amount of $1,100 and $250, respectively, for a tap-in installation at 1133 Linn Drive. The checks were cashed but Rager never performed the work.

• On Sept. 4, 2012, Rager took a $2,800 check – the full amount for a sewage tap-in at 202 Long Ave. Rager cashed the check the same day and never returned.

• On Sept. 12, 2012, Rager received a check for $1,700 – half the amount agreed upon for work at 1148 Connellsville St. – but never returned despite repeated phone calls placed until Aug. 27, 2013.

• On Sept. 21, 2012, Rager took $7,950 in checks, full payment for two tap-ins at 315 and 323 Perry Ave. Police said Rager started the work but never returned to finish despite telling the victim he would return to finish the following week. Police said Rager told the victim he was in the hospital, then on vacation, then that his wife had been in an accident. Subsequent attempts to contact Rager were unsuccessful, the victim said, because his voice mailbox was full.

• On Oct. 15, 2012, Rager took a $400 check as down payment for work at 116 Nagy St. He never returned.

• On Oct. 16, 2012, Rager received a $1,000 check for work at 110 Nagy St. that was never performed.

• On Oct. 17, Rager received a $1,250 check, half the proposed cost, for work at 114 Nagy St. and never returned despite cashing the check.

• On Oct. 29, 2012, Rager took a check for $1,400 for a tap-in at 125 Roskovich St. and never returned to perform the work.

Rager is facing additional drug charges in Westmoreland County. They include one count of possession with intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia filed by state police on Aug. 22 for an incident in Youngwood and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia for an Aug. 7 incident in Hempfield Township.

Anyone with information on Rager's whereabouts can call Washington Township police at 724-929-6940 or state police in Greensburg at 724-832-3288.

Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at rbruni@tribweb.com or 724-684-2635.

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