Plumber's alleged plan to drum up work goes down the drain

By Tanya Mitchell | Jan 29, 2013
Source: File image

Belfast — A local plumber is accused of tampering with a woman's toilet in an apparent effort to acquire more business after stopping in at her home on the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 25.

Police summoned Elwin Lord, 42, of Belfast on charges of attempted theft by deception and criminal mischief following the incident, which police say occurred at a Lincolnville Avenue residence Friday at about 3:30 p.m.

Belfast Detective Sgt. Bryan Cunningham said business had recently been slow for Lord, who is a licensed master plumber, so he was stopping in at local homes to see if anyone might need his services.

Cunningham said he went to the home of an elderly woman to see if she needed a plumber, and she said she did not. At that time, Cunningham said, Lord asked to use her bathroom and the woman allowed him to do so.

"An hour later, she needed a plumber," said Cunningham.

Police believe that's because Lord loosened a nut on the back of the toilet enough to cause a detectable water leak and then left his business card with the homeowner before he continued on his way.

The homeowner ended up calling Lord after she noticed the problem with her toilet, but Cunningham said the woman's daughter was suspicious of the situation and called police.

Lord returned to the home, and police caught up with him in the driveway of the residence.

Cunningham said a check on Lord's professional license showed he has had no complaints lodged against him.

"He has no history of this," said Cunningham.

Lord is scheduled to appear at Fifth District Court in Belfast Tuesday, March 19.

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