Gary Cox's Benbrook house gets an abundance of natural light thanks to the windows. But he admits, the windows are getting old.
"The seals are coming loose. The cold leaves and the heat comes in," Cox explained.
So Cox and his wife hired Patrick Hebert, of Master Windows, Doors, and Siding, to replace them. Cox said he showed him around the house and Hebert said he could get the job done without a doubt.
Cox signed a contract and paid Hebert $3,500 up front. But a few weeks later, Cox said Hebert never showed up and started coming up with excuses for not returning.
"I think that's his M-O, and he's a scammer, and that's what he does," said Cox.
That was the last time he said he saw Hebert and his $3,500.
Cox said his suspicions were confirmed when he found dozens of negative reviews online.
The latest news from around North Texas.
One comment in particular came from a woman named Leigh Ann Willis: "Scam - 8 weeks ago, Patrick Hebert gave us an estimate and took a 50 percent deposit. He is now MIA and, as of today, I am happy to provide additional details to other complainants if you contact me via email."
So, that's what Cox and his wife did, and they were stunned at how similar their stories were.
Back in October, Willis said Hebert's business name was Better Windows and Doors.
"The fact that he is still out there doing it to other people is just abominable to me," said Willis.
She and her husband paid Hebert $3,200, but they said he never came back to start the job.
After weeks of waiting, Willis said she contacted the Dallas Police Department.
"They absolutely agreed that it was a criminal case and, based on the amount, it is a felony," she said.
Before pressing charges, Willis said she spoke with Hebert's attorney to give him one last chance to pay but that he didn't come through.
NBC 5 Responds has learned that Hebert has been indicted on two felony theft charges, including Willis' case
The Dallas County District Attorney's office told NBC 5, "This case is ongoing and they are continuing to investigate other formal complaints as they are received."
"He needs to rot in jail," said Cox.
NBC 5 Responds has reached out to Hebert and his attorney but we have not heard back.
A spokesperson for the Dallas County Sheriff's Office confirmed to us that Hebert is out on bail. His next court appearance is Aug. 2.
The consumers on record in this report said their biggest regret was not doing enough research before handing over the deposit. Before you start any home project, here are Samantha Chatman's Solutions:
- Google the person's name online. Pair it with the words "scam" or "ripoff" and see what comes up.
- Understand there are risks to paying so much money up front. See if you can get materials first before handing over half.
- If you ever end up in a situation like this, file a police report with your local police department. These types of cases are often civil, but if the authorities can determine a pattern, they may explore criminal charges.