A Green Valley woman who hired contractor after contractor to renovate her home and yard only to have them disappear called the Pima County Sheriff's Department last Wednesday to report she has lost about $70,000 as a result.
Pima County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Garrick Carey said the woman fell victim to four people, two of them for large amounts and two for much smaller amounts.
"There was some work done, but the estimated total for completed work is unknown," Carey said.
According to a PCSD report, the woman said she bought a residence in Sahuarita and hired a contractor she had used before to paint the interior, replace the carpeting and install pavers and a stucco wall in the backyard.
The woman paid the contractor $35,000, but after four months he had finished just eight feet of the stucco wall and had painted only a portion of the interior of the home.
The contractor told the victim he was going to visit family and never returned, according to the report.
The victim then paid another contractor $33,000 to finish the job, but his employees disappeared after starting a few of the tasks.
The woman struck a deal with a local handyman to finish the job and while he and his co-workers performed some of their tasks, they never finished, according to the report. She had paid them $1,500.
Prior to calling the PCSD, the victim had filed complaints with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.
Many of the phone numbers she was given by the workers have been blocked or disconnected, according to the report.
PCSD Lt. Derek Ogden said it's unclear how the victim found the second, third and fourth contractors, but it doesn't appear they were affiliated with each other.
Ogden said residents should research contractors with the BBB to make sure they are licensed and bonded through the state and check for references. It's also not a good idea to pay people up front, he said.