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Landscaper accused of stealing from clients

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    ST. ANN, Missouri (KMOV) — A St. Louis County resident says he hopes to get justice after a local landscaper defrauded him out of more than a $1,000.

The resident didn’t want his identity revealed out of fear of retaliation from the business owner. “I’m disappointed, I feel worse that I was a dummy, because I’m a nice guy, and nice guys get stepped on,” he said.

His backyard is covered with branches and logs after he says the owner of Tom’s Tree Service, Tommy Luther, left it that way after an incomplete tree removal job. The homeowner says Luther hasn’t returned to his home since March 8. He paid $1,100 for a $3,000 job. He said once Luther had the money, he disappeared.

St. Ann Police charged Tommy Luther was charged with felony stealing.

The homeowner turned to News 4 for help and filed a police report with St. Ann Police. “He won’t return calls,” he said.

News 4 spoke to Luther who denied these allegations. St. Ann Police charged with felony stealing. He was arrested and held on a $5,000 bond at the St. Louis County Jail.

News 4 looked into Luther’s company and found it has a F rating by the Better Business Bureau. Several customers detailing similar experiences to the BBB about paying for incomplete job done by Luther.

News 4 found Luther has been convicted of other burglary and theft convictions in the past.

To protect yourself BBB has resources and tips:

BBB offers these tips on hiring a reputable contractor:

Research any business and its owners carefully before paying any money. Check the company’s BBB Business Profile at
Ask for references and contact them.
Before paying, make sure you have a signed contract outlining what work is to be done, a timetable for completion, and an explanation of what happens if the business or consumer reneges on the agreement.
Ask the contractor for proof that he or she is bonded and insured.
Pay by credit card whenever possible in case you need to challenge the payment.
Do not pay everything in advance. It is a good rule to pay a portion when you sign the contract and the final payment only after you are satisfied with the work.
When work is completed and the contractor has been paid, request lien waivers showing subcontractors, and material suppliers have been paid for the job.

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Article Topic Follows: National-World

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