Watervliet police: Troy man posed as city employee, scammed woman

WATERVLIET – Joseph Celeone, 40, of Troy is charged with grand larceny and criminal impersonation.

Police say at the end of last year, he pretended that he worked for the city water department when he told a 75-year-old resident that her driveway violated code.

He allegedly said she’d be fined if it wasn’t fixed quickly.

Authorities say she gave him a $3,000 check for badly done, unnecessary repairs.

Police call him an experienced con artist.

“He has an extensive history of defrauding people in this exact manner,” said Watervliet Police Chief Joseph Centanni. “He’s been doing this for quite some time and has several arrests and convictions in the state of New York and was arrested in March of 2021 in Florida for a very similar offense.”

Police would like to hear from anyone who has information about Celeone.

They stress that if something feels off, people should always make a call and verify information with the agency, department or company.

“I want to underscore something of great importance: if it feels wrong, it is wrong,” the chief said. “So stop, take a breath, and there is no government entity that will offer service to repair a violation. What they will do is they will set a time frame for you to get the violations repaired by someone of your choosing.”

Celeone was arraigned at Watervliet City Court and released on an appearance ticket.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact detectives at 518-270-3892.