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Homeowners cautioned on area paving scam


November 17, 2010
Several area police departments are encouraging residents of Central Massachusetts towns to beware of a group of individuals who have been orchestrating a multi-state solicitation scam since the beginning of November.

According to West Brookfield Police Sgt. Charles Laperle, the individuals have approached homeowners in several towns and requested to pave or seal their driveways. On Nov. 15, an elderly couple informed the West Brookfield Police Department that they had been the most recent victims of the scam, paying $14,500 for driveway work that should not have exceeded $2,000.

The incident began when the couple was asked by a group of men if they were interested in having their driveway seal coated. After they had agreed to have the work done, the men applied asphalt to the driveway and charged the couple $14,500 for their efforts. One of the men allegedly went as far as escorting the elderly female to the bank so she could withdraw money from her account.

"These individuals have been doing the same thing in other towns using multiple company names," Laperle said.

The names being used by the suspects have not been released due to an ongoing investigation involving multiple police departments.

Sturbridge Police Officer John Paciorek said the individuals have frequently attempted to persuade homeowners to sign a contract that would hold the homeowner responsible for paying exorbitant fees.

Fo more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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