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Huntington man arrested for home improvement fraud

by Andrew Maciejewski - amaciejewski@h-ponline.com

A Huntington man was arrested Saturday after he allegedly failed to cover the customers roof before a storm, which caused the entire house to leak, according to Huntington County Circuit Court records.

Phillip E. Beeks Jr., 38, is facing a Level 6 felony charge of home improvement fraud and a Level 6 charge of criminal mischief with damages of at least $50,000, according to a probable cause affidavit. Beeks posted bond, which was set at $9,000, Monday at his initial hearing.

On June 18, a Huntington customer contacted roofing companies to fix a minor leak in the home, and on June 21, Beeks inspected the roof on behalf of Holbrooks Roofing and recommended the customer replace the roof entirely, police reports say.

Beeks asked for half of the $9,500 up front and reportedly told the customer he would not accept a credit card payment, since fees were too high, even though his company advertises credit card payment options, according to the police report.

Beeks reportedly told the customer to make the check out to him, instead of the company, since his stepfather was retiring and putting Beeks in charge of the business. Soon after Beeks left, the customer received a call from his bank asking if it was authorized to cash the check, and the customer authorized the bank to cash the check even though he thought it was odd that Beeks would cash the check right away.

On June 25, one of Beeks’ workers removed 80 percent of the shingles before stopping for the day without weather proofing the roof since it was exposed, according to the police report. Beeks told the customer that he left the old felt paper on the roof and said that rain wasn’t expected until late the next day, the report states.

The next day, Beeks allegedly showed up late around 11:30 a.m., and the customer advised him that the storm was rolling in soon. When the storm hit the customer noticed that “every part of his home began to leak water” and that “he had water coming from every ceiling, light fixture, down the beams, down the walls and all the way into the basement,” according to the police report.

Beeks allegedly said there was nothing to worry about, police say.

After the home was damaged the customer asked Beeks for his insurance information, but Beeks “became very evasive” even though he said he had insurance coverage for the incident, according to the police report. Beeks allegedly said he did not want to turn the incident into his insurance because it would make his premiums go up.

Later that day, Beeks covered the roof around 4 p.m. and came into the residence to clean up, and said he would put shingles on the next day.

Beeks did not return the next day, but when he did return June 28, he said he was having trouble getting shingles even though the customer said he checked Lowes and Menards and found that there were shingles available, according to police.

On July 1, the customer had to buy the rest of the materials to finish the roof, according to the report, and Beeks finished the roof, according to police.

After being confronted about the damage again and insurance information, Beeks said he wasn’t sure if they had insurance, according to police. Beeks said the customer could sue Beeks personally but asked that the customer not sue Holbrooks Roofing, according to police.