Rainy Weather Brings Steady Stream of Contractor Complaints

By Scott Friedman
|  Wednesday, Oct 7, 2009  |  Updated 5:30 PM CDT
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Rainy Weather Brings Steady Stream of Contractor Complaints

AP

Victims said this is what their roofs look like, minus the worker.

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A rainy fall means more leaky roofs, gutters and windows.  At local police departments, that means more complaints about fly-by-night contractors who leave business cards on doorsteps, collect money, and then disappear.

Lewisville police are searching for one contractor who's accused of stealing thousands of dollars from people who paid him for roof repairs that were never completed. 

Officers have a warrant for Jorge Chavez Morales who runs his own roofing and fence company.

One customer tells police she paid Morales $1,300 and he left her with a hole in her roof and a hole in her pocket.  Another customer filed a police report saying Morales took $2,000 and never did any of the roof work at the man's home.

"He'd blame it on the weather and say he'd be back next week and just never showed up," said Capt. Kevin Deaver, head of criminal investigations for the Lewisville Police Department.

Deaver said one angry customer apparently caught up with Morales, and hit him with a golf club, putting him in the hospital.  Police arrested him there on one warrant.  He posted bond, and now they're looking for him on a second warrant.

Angry customers want Morales to pay up.

"I'm sure it's extremely frustrating, especially with these hard times," Deaver said.

Officers said the case is a good reminder to hire contractors with established reputations, get references, and don't pay for a large percentage of the work up front.

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