By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Suspect arrested in connection with McMinnville rental scam

Suspect accused of bilking would-be renters out of their money

Jerry Rosenstiel
Marcus Larson / News-Register
Crystal Foster planned to move into the Manzanita Street house and put down a deposit, only to lose her money.

That’s because she and her boyfriend, Tim Colvin; her two children, 20-year-old Ranisha and 17-year-old Neriah; her brother, Allan; and her nephew, Eric, have no permanent place of residence.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Not at all.

“We had a mother-in-law and a brother-in-law living with us (in McMinnville),” Foster said. “They moved out. The house we were living in was too big, so we found this other place.”

It was a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home with a double-car garage at 242 S.W. Manzanita St. in McMinnville.  A woman Foster knows lives next door and told her it was a rental and available. Foster said she spoke with someone who identified himself as Jerry Carpenter, the homeowner.  He told her the rent was $975 a month.

“I talked with him July 27th,” Foster said. “I gave him $1,950 on the 29th. I was supposed to give him another $500 on Aug. 1, the day we were going to move in. I called him on the first, left a message and he didn’t get back to me.

“Between the first and the seventh of the month, I called every day and left a message. He’s never called back. On the seventh, I knew something wasn’t right and went to the police. They said they had already been notified by others (who had reported a similar experience).”

Foster said the first time she talked to Carpenter, before he went missing with her money, he told her he was dying of cancer and only had about a year to live. He said a relative was going to assume control of his rental properties after he died.

When Foster could not reach him, she said she was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, in part, because of his physical condition.

“When I was trying to get ahold of him, I called all the area hospitals, to see if he had been admitted,” Foster said. “Now, I feel like an idiot.”

Carpenter is also known as Jerry Rosenstiel and McMinnville police have launched a full-scale investigation into his activities.

“He’s a creep,” Foster said. “We’re just hoping someone turns him in. That’s our goal.”

Sgt. Tim Symons of the McMinnville police said the house is owned by Andrew O. Davids, but police have not been able to contact him. They are unsure of his whereabouts.

Foster said Davids and Carpenter are business partners and she has learned the house is in pre-foreclosure, which the police have been unable to confirm, according to Symons.

About 18 victims have filed reports with the police. Their losses total $18,000.

Some of the victims said they had concerns with the way the transactions were handled by the suspect and they became suspicious that they might be getting scammed.

Police said their investigation has revealed that the suspect is an alleged long term con man who has been involved in numerous scams over the past several years, according to Symons.

Those who believe they have been victimized or have information regarding the suspects whereabouts should contact Sgt. Cully Desmond or officer Sam Elliott at the Yamhill Communications Agency non-emergency number, 503-434-6500.

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