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Police: Elderly Man Ripped Off by Tenant

KINGSTON — A tenant is accused of ripping off his 84-year-old landlord in Luzerne County.

The elderly man’s neighbors on South Loveland Avenue in Kingston called him polite, generous, and a little too trusting.

“He does seem a little bit slower lately, within the last year.  Yeah, I think he would be able to be taken advantage of,” said John Benning of Kingston.

According to police, the elderly man was taken advantage of by Ernest Taylor, a tenant who rented the other side of his duplex. Court records showed that, on two occasions, Taylor had been convicted of felony drug charges and served time in jail.

Police said Taylor developed a friendship with his older landlord and used it to get access to the man’s home and checkbook.

“And the tenant was basically exploiting him by taking his checks.  He was pretending to pay bills.  But, really, he was taking his checks and cashing them,” said Detective Ian Urbanski of the Kingston Police Department.

On Friday, police charged Taylor with forgery and identity theft, saying he forged his name on seven checks and pocketed more than $1,200.

In the Kingston neighborhood, people didn’t have much to say about Ernest Taylor.

They were thinking of their 84-year-old neighbor, and they hope he’s coping with what happened.

“Super nice guy. You’d go up on the porch and talk to him.  Very friendly, he’d probably give you the shirt off his back for the most part.”

Kingston Police said an anonymous tip triggered their investigation  that led to Taylor’s arrest.



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