Alleged chimney scam suspects Bruce Wimmer and Michael Windland face hate crime charges

Two men accused of targeting the elderly in a chimney repair scam are facing new charges Thursday.



Bruce Wimmer, 32, and Michael Windland, 28, were both indicted on hate crime charges. Prosecutors say they ripped off at least six elderly Suffolk residents over the past year. News 12 is told a third man, Christopher Washington, is also facing charges connected to the incidents.



Prosecutors say the pair would knock on the door and convince homeowners that work had to be done on their chimney. The victims include an 82-year-old man from St. James who wrote $13,000 in checks to the alleged crooks. They say the pair also stole jewelry, cash and even prescription medications from the homes.



Prosecutors say Windlind made a full confession, and the victims picked both men out of a line up.



Windlind's attorney says his client was following orders and didn't know he was doing anything wrong.



Both men pleaded not guilty to charges of burglary and grand larceny as a hate crime.



All three men are expect back in court next month.


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