allegedly

Two Okanagan families left in financial hole after contractor allegedly skips town

Two Okanagan families are in a financial and literal hole after a pool contractor allegedly took their money and skipped town.

“We hired a contractor back in late May, he came in and did all the excavation work,” said Steve Croxford, a Kelowna resident.

“He told us he had all the permits in place to get going.”

However, the contractor had no permits, according to the city.

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It’s a case of buyer beware after Stephana Johnson and her neighbour Steve Croxford found what they thought was ‘a great deal’ after finding a pool contractor on Facebook.

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They decided to hire the same contractor to build both of their pools in neighbouring yards.

What happened soon after construction began was a shock.

“That’s where he’s abandoned it basically, we paid him approximately half of the money for the pool,” said Croxford.

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The two families said they hired a man who calls himself Jared or J-Hay and his company Pyramid Pools.

The pool contractor promised them two finished underground pools within four weeks — it’s now been almost four months.

Global News talked to multiple pool companies in Kelowna who say they’ve heard of this fly-by-night pool contractor who’s left multiple people high and dry.

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Shortly after the alleged fraudster skipped out on the job, the city sent an inspector to their properties.

They issued a cease work order on Aug. 1st and the property owners say the city demanded a 71,000 dollar bond and ordered them to remove the massive dirt pile that was left on city property.

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Police: Handyman arrested for allegedly placing camera in customer’s bathroom

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    Paramus, NJ (WCBS) — Paramus police have arrested a handyman for allegedly placing a hidden camera in a customer’s bathroom and said he didn’t just do it in their town.

They are asking local residents if they remember hiring him before, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported Wednesday.

It looks like a regular charger, but if you look closely, “It’s got the pinhole camera right there. It’s motion-activated audio and video recording,” Det. Mark Pinajian said.

When pried open, “There’s an SD card slot there,” Pinajian said.

Paramus police said a woman found the device in her bathroom.

“Noticed it plugged into the outlet, knowing her home and that it didn’t belong to her,” Pinajian said.

When she opened it and watched what was on the card, “Saw clips on there, especially of her bathroom and herself,” Pinajian said.

And it didn’t just happen to her.

“There was another location on that camera,” Pinajian said.

That location was another bathroom in Wayne. That alleged incident was also caught on the camera the handyman was hired by the woman to fix a window. Police arrested 47-year-old Romeo Sanchez of West New York, a married father.

Police said he admitted to doing it and planned to retrieve the device when he returned to finish his work. They said there’s no evidence he distributed the video to anyone and added there were no kids in either home.

“As far as we can see, he’s not a licensed contractor. He’s just like a handyman to do small odds and ends jobs and he was being referred to other people. That’s how he was getting business,” Pinajian said.

More people have called police now concerned that they, too, may have been a victim.

“If you have somebody in your home,

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3 years later, Tubbs Fire survivors seek justice after contractors allegedly fail to rebuild homes

It has been three long years since Sonoma County’s Tubbs Fire nightmare.

3 years later, Tubbs Fire survivors seek justice in alleged home rebuild fraud

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It feels like yesterday to those who survived.

For a crowd gathered with signs outside the Sonoma County courthouse Friday morning, it feels more like an eternity.

“I’m still not over it. PTSD for three years, now,” said Ellen Lencher.

She and others in the crowd lost homes in the fire and money, they say, to Sal and Pam Chiaramonte.

RELATED: Santa Rosa contractor Chiaramonte Construction responds to complaints about rebuilds of homes destroyed in Tubbs Fire

The contractors from Tulare County promised to rebuild 39 houses at Central Valley prices. They did not deliver on most of them.

“And even after the time the realized they would not be able to do what they promised, they continued to take money from people,” said attorney Richard Freeman, who represents many of the victims in a civil suit.

Friday’s scheduled court appearance provided the first time that many of the Chiaramonte’s customers had seen the couple since signing their papers.

The contractors answered no questions.

“No we are not allowed to say anything,” said Sal Chiaramonte, though he and his wife did hear an earful.

VIDEO: ‘Two years stronger together:’ Tubbs Fire survivors reflect on firestorm anniversary

“Scumbag. You’re not even man enough to look at us,” shouted one man in the crowd.

“We’re not going away,” added another.

Elsewhere, the Santa Rosa Fire Department rang a ceremonial bell 24 times in honor of 24 lives lost that night.

More than 5,000 homes burned. Almost a quarter of them were in Coffey Park, where the Chiaramontes set up shop, as Pam told us in the spring in 2019.

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3 years later, Sonoma County Tubbs Fire survivors seek justice after contractors allegedly fail to deliver on promise to rebuild homes

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) — It has been three long years since Sonoma County’s Tubbs Fire nightmare.

It feels like yesterday to those who survived.

For a crowd gathered with signs outside the Sonoma County courthouse Friday morning, it feels more like an eternity.

“I’m still not over it. PTSD for three years, now,” said Ellen Lencher.

She and others in the crowd lost homes in the fire and money, they say, to Sal and Pam Chiaramonte.

RELATED: Santa Rosa contractor Chiaramonte Construction responds to complaints about rebuilds of homes destroyed in Tubbs Fire

The contractors from Tulare County promised to rebuild 39 houses at Central Valley prices. They did not deliver on most of them.

“And even after the time the realized they would not be able to do what they promised, they continued to take money from people,” said attorney Richard Freeman, who represents many of the victims in a civil suit.

Friday’s scheduled court appearance provided the first time that many of the Chiaramonte’s customers had seen the couple since signing their papers.

The contractors answered no questions.

“No we are not allowed to say anything,” said Sal Chiaramonte, though he and his wife did hear an earful.

VIDEO: ‘Two years stronger together:’ Tubbs Fire survivors reflect on firestorm anniversary

“Scumbag. You’re not even man enough to look at us,” shouted one man in the crowd.

“We’re not going away,” added another.

Elsewhere, the Santa Rosa Fire Department rang a ceremonial bell 24 times in honor of 24 lives lost that night.

More than 5,000 homes burned. Almost a quarter of them were in Coffey Park, where the Chiaramontes set up shop, as Pam told us in the spring in 2019.

RELATED: Tubbs Fire victims say contractor is not making good on their rebuilds

“We’re not some

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Hilo couple in custody after they allegedly tried to rob a home improvement store

HILO, Hawaii (KHON2) — Police on Hawaii Island charged a Hilo couple with robbery and other offenses after an incident that took place on Sept. 19.

[Hawaii news on the go–LISTEN to KHON 2GO weekday mornings at 7:30 a.m.]

The Hawaii Police Department said that Spencer Jordan Feary, 33, and Taelilynn Mahinaohoku Harumi Leslie, 19, went into a home improvement store on Makaala Street in Hilo and then loaded a shopping cart with a number of store items.

Then, the two allegedly tried to leave the store without paying. But as they did, a store associate asked if they could confirm that they paid for the merchandise but a fight broke out. Police said that the couple assaulted the store employee.

The two then left the store without the merchandise, which was worth over $1,460.

On Sept. 29, police found Feary at a traffic stop and arrested him. Officials said that he was driving the same vehicle that was used in the robbery incident on Sept. 19. Officers found narcotics and drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle, which they were able to recover after they obtained a search warrant.

The next day, Leslie was found and arrested.

Police charged Feary with first-degree robbery, second-degree robbery, first-degree theft, second-degree theft, three counts of third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, driving without a valid driver’s license as well as for an outstanding contempt of court warrant. His bail was set at $131,400.

Leslie was charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree robbery, first-degree theft, second-degree theft and for two outstanding contempt of court warrants. Her bail was set at $45,450.

Both had their initial court appearances in South Hilo District Court on Oct. 1. They remain in custody at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center.

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