The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

May 16, 2012

Joplin couple victimized by phony home repair claim

JOPLIN, Mo. — A 69-year-old resident of a neighborhood near downtown Joplin was gone for a few hours a week ago today and had just arrived back home when he knocked on her door.

The young man with the spiked hair claimed to be part of a crew that completed some work on her roof while she was gone.

She asked: What work? She wasn’t aware that she or her husband, who was out of town just then, had arranged for anything to be done, she told him.

Well, this was just a follow-up to a job the crew members had done before, he said. They had stopped by to check it out, and it turned out the roof needed some resealing and additional work around the chimney, and they had gone ahead with the work, he said.

She wanted to know when the crew had worked on the house previously. She and her husband have lived there 12 years, and she could not recall any work of that type being done.

The first time was about 15 years ago, the man said. This was just a routine follow-up by Tri-State Paving and Sealcoating. But the workers had to complete $9,000 worth of repairs, and they needed to be paid, he told her.

The figure was flabbergasting. She couldn’t pay him $9,000, she said. Not for work she wasn’t sure the couple had even ordered.

He might be able to cut her a price break, but the crew was going to have to be paid now, he said. He eventually agreed to settle for $6,200, and she wrote him a check. When he noticed that it was on an account with a bank in another county, he told her he couldn’t accept that. It had to be a check on a local bank because he needed to cash it right away to pay off the supplier of the materials the crew had used on the roof.

Reluctantly, she wrote him a $6,000 check on a Joplin bank, and he left. Minutes later, another man claiming to be with Tri-State Paving and Sealcoating called her with questions about the check she had written.

It wasn’t until the next day, in a telephone conversation with her husband, that she realized she had been taken. There had not been any work done on their roof. It had just been a scam.

“It’s very embarrassing,” the woman told the Globe in an interview Tuesday.

Her husband explained that his wife has a medical condition that causes some short-term memory problems that may have played a role in what happened. There also was an element of intimidation involved, she acknowledged.

The couple found out from their bank that the check was cashed in less than an hour. The older man who called her may have been making sure she had not gotten wise to the fraud and contacted police before someone was sent into the bank to cash the check.

The couple said their only hope of seeing those who ripped them off caught and punished may be some surveillance footage that the bank has. Joplin police have obtained that footage and are working the case.

Blank check

A JOPLIN WOMAN paid a phony home repair scam artist with a check leaving the payee slot blank. The check was cashed by a man within an hour of the scam.

Text Only
Local News
  • r072814dogbike.jpg Cross-country trip promotes animal adoption

    Where’s Bixby? Not the town in Oklahoma, but the dog on the back of a bicycle ridden by Mike Minnick. On Monday, the two were in Joplin, one stop on a cross-country bike trip to promote the adoption of dogs and cats from local shelters.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4.3 magnitude quake reported in northern Oklahoma

    The U.S. Geological Survey says an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.3 struck northern Oklahoma on Monday night.

    July 29, 2014

  • Update: 4 workers injured in SE Kansas oil refinery fire

    A Texas company says four workers at a southeast Kansas oil refinery were burned in an early morning fire.

    July 29, 2014

  • Seneca man draws concurrent term in sexual abuse case

    A 39-year-old man who sexually abused a girl over a four-year period in both Joplin and Seneca received a 15-year sentence Monday in Newton County that will run concurrently with a term he received earlier this year in Jasper County.

    July 28, 2014

  • Judge lifts seal on records in Parsons quadruple slaying

    A judge has rescinded his order sealing court records in the case of David Bennett Jr., who is accused of killing a Parsons woman and her three children.

    July 28, 2014

  • Defendant who pulled knife on ER doctor sent for treatment

    A man accused of pulling a knife on a Freeman Hospital West emergency room doctor pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Monday and was sentenced to the state prison system’s Institutional Treatment Center.

    July 28, 2014

  • Wal-Mart to build second local Neighborhood Market

    A second Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market store is planned for Joplin. The company has filed an application with the city to rezone nearly six acres of land on the west side of town in the tornado zone to build a new Neighborhood Market and gas station.

    July 28, 2014

  • r072814mailcar.jpg VIDEO: Train mail car trailered on Joplin's Main Street to Redings Mill

    With a police escort leading the way Monday, postal car No. 34 breezed through downtown Joplin en route to its new home in Redings Mill, where it was greeted by a welcome party of local residents and railroad enthusiasts.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • Anti-landfill group seeks grand jury probe

    As more than 200 people filed into Riverton High School on Sunday to attend an anti-landfill group meeting, many stopped to sign a petition asking the Cherokee County District Court to summon a grand jury to investigate how land was acquired by the city of Galena for a proposed landfill.

    July 27, 2014

  • 072814_jd anderson.jpg VIDEO: Noel strongman advances on talent show

    The past week has been busier than normal for Noel resident J.D. Anderson. Members of the production crew for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” told him they have shot more footage of him than of other contestants for the next episode. “They said I have the busiest schedule of anyone this week,” Anderson told the Globe in a phone interview Friday. “There’s so many fun things you can do with B-roll as a strongman.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read


Given that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that electronic devices and communications are protected from searches and seizure without a warrant, do you think Missouri needs Amendment 9 added to its constitution?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter