theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

Local News

December 16, 2011

Local lawmen warn of paving scam

Little —  

Ray Hall of Little, Okla., said he and his wife are thankful their bank account is intact after nearly being scammed by what authorities are calling “gypsy pavers.”

Hall said he was approached by the alleged scammers Tuesday evening. They claimed their construction company was out of Ada.

“He said ‘we’ve been blacktopping down here on (state Highway 9A) and we had some blacktop left over and we’ve got to get it off our truck and we’d really make a good deal on it,’ ” Hall said. “He told me 'for your driveway, it’d be $136 probably.’ ”

Hall agreed and said the men didn’t use asphalt but ground-up blacktop used to underlay asphalt roads. Hall said for the price he was quoted a switch in materials wasn’t a problem.

The men finished the job after dark and asked Hall if they could leave their equipment overnight and get it in the morning when they returned for payment.

“He came up and measured the driveway and told me ‘that’ll be $2,797,’ ” Hall said. “I said how much? He told me again and I said, ‘Bologna.’ ”

When Hall questioned the price, the man told him he meant $136 per square foot and that Hall had misunderstood. Hall reluctantly wrote the man a check and called the sheriff’s department. Hall put a stop payment on the check and a sheriff’s deputy escorted the men out of the county. Hall said the men had Nebraska license plates.

Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Capt. Travis Palmer said his department had trouble with the men in Pottawatomie County as well. He told Channel 9 News he caught the so-called “contractors” at Sacred Heart Church near Konawa.

“They don’t care who they take advantage of,” Palmer said. “You sink into it (the paving). Not only is the church out the money but (it) will cost more money to ... fix this.”

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