Lucky Capote wasn't so lucky Tuesday after meeting the "roofing contractor" depicted in the sheriff's artist rendering at right. The 86-year-old was outside his home in the 500 block of Calle Hidalgo in San Clemente around 11 a.m. when he was approached by the man and a boy. The "roofer" offered a free inspection but Capote declined–until the stranger cited the recent winter rains and the potential for problems. "He feels worthless," Betty Capote, Lucky's wife, said of her husband after the encounter with the cons.
Here's what was reported to the sheriff's department:
Before the man went up on the roof, he asked Lucky Capote to watch his "son," who appeared to be 12 to 14. Betty was not home as the boy kept the elderly man entertained and the "roofer" presumably performed his inspection. At one point, the "roofer" asked to boy to help him with something. Next thing Lucky knew they were motoring away from his quiet neighborhood in a white SUV.
Betty Capote later arrived home to discover the front door open, dresser drawers in a bedroom ransacked and about $200,000 worth of her jewelry missing. The crime fits a pattern of so-called "distraction robberies" in Orange County, but deputies say this is the first they can remember where a thief has such a young accomplice.
Lucky told a KTLA/Channel 5 news crew that he almost could not help himself, saying of the boy, "He was nice to me and i was nice to him. I like to be nice to kids. He entertained me well."
But he is left feeling worthless, his wife added, because the thieves made him realize he can't protect her, let alone himself.
"He's old and he knows it," she said.