The Anne Arundel County Police Department would like to make its citizens aware of a possible theft scheme and provide tips to avoid becoming a victim.
Within the past month, the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s Southern District has been made aware of two incidents involving an individual, who targets the elderly by going door to door unsolicited to offer to perform driveway paving. This individual reports that he is working for a Maryland paving company performing work in the area, has materials nearby and gives verbal estimates to homeowners.
In one incident on April 20, 2011, at a residence in Annapolis, the suspect never provided the 75-year-old male victim a written estimate, returned with a crew to finish the driveway and demanded a higher amount of payment than originally discussed. In a second incident on April 27, 2011, in Lothian, the same suspect made contact with the 79-year-old male homeowner, discussed a possible estimate and then left for a period of time. The suspect returned with eight other individuals and began paving the driveway without permission. The suspect then charged the victim a much larger fee than previously discussed.
Through the investigation, detectives have spoken to additional residents describing similar circumstances, where they refused to allow the suspect to perform work because he would not provide a written estimate. Detectives have since identified a suspect, Tommy Edward Clack, 39, of 1008 Ridgewood Drive, North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29582.
After consultation with the State’s Attorney’s Office, there are currently three open arrest warrants charging Clack with Theft, Operating Without a Home Improvements Business License and Making False Statements to a Law Enforcement Officer. Clack also uses the last name “Clark” and is known to operate a 2010 red Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck bearing the North Carolina registration ZWJ5901. The vehicle may at times display magnetic “Maryland Asphalt Paving Company” signs. Clack may also be accompanied by a second red pick-up truck.
Anyone with information on this suspect or with any inquires about the scam is asked to contact Detective Mark Ottey of the Southern District Detectives at 410- 222-1960.
The public is encouraged to follow the following guidelines when considering hiring anyone for a home improvement project or when encountering problems with the service:
- Get at least three estimates from at least three different contractors. Check and verify all references supplied by the contractor. Shop around!
- Research to verify that the contractor is licensed in the State of Maryland and/or locally. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce or visit the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation at http://www.dllr.state.md.us.
- Know the difference between proposals (estimated costs) and contracts (specified costs).
- Be sure the contract describes the service(s) to be performed, lists the materials to be used and includes a starting and expected completion date.
- Ask for a written warranty or guarantee with your contract.
- Be cautious of companies that require advanced payments.
- Contact the Better Business Bureau to file a complaint for the non-delivery of services or check with them ahead of time to see if there were prior complaints
- File a consumer complaint with the Maryland Attorney General Consumer Protection Division for the non-delivery of services
- Remember! As a general rule of thumb: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!