Suspect Sought in Smoke Alarm Scam
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.
Fire and police investigators are looking for a man accused of scamming residents on smoke alarms while posing as an electrician.
Fire investigators said Michael McDavid was hired by a 62-unit complex named Concord Village to install electric smoke alarms, but he did not hook the wires up to a power supply, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
Officials said the condo association paid the man $1,500, and each unit owner kicked in $45 for a smoke alarm. State law requires hard-wired smoke alarms in new and old multifamily residences such as condos, townhouses and apartments.
Fire investigators said McDavid installed smoke alarms with batteries and wires that could be pulled out of the wall. If a battery died, residents would not be protected, officials said.
The Concord Village condo association did not get a permit because McDavid told the board one wasn’t required, fire officials said. As a result, there was no inspection.
McDavid, who has outstanding arrest warrants on unrelated matters, may have fled to out of state, authorities said. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the man has a long criminal history with arrests on charges of forgery, larceny and fraud.
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