Police search for driveway pavers who attempted to scam Henrico residents

Updated: Jan. 8, 2020 at 11:16 AM EST
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Henrico police are investigating some brazen driveway pavers trying to scam people out of thousands, and they’re working to catch them in the act so they can arrest them.

These pavers - in unmarked vehicles - have big heavy equipment and the right equipment to do the job, but it is the money they are asking for that has homeowners blown away.

“It was so much money. Oh my God, it was enough to make you sit down and cry,” Eulette Becoat said.

She said the driveway pavers found her father cutting his grass, just minding his own business. The leader approached him and said he had leftover asphalt from a job nearby and could do their driveway for $100. Her father called her and the crew went to work.

“By the time I got here, they had already scraped out the driveway. They weren’t joking. They were moving fast. They had five or six people in the driveway just scraping, moving out gravel,” Becoat said.

She says they finished the shortest side of the driveway and started talking price to pave the rest.

“He said you have 1,900 square feet, $9 per square feet. You do the calculations. That’s $18,000. I looked at him, I said ‘do you think we have $18,000 to put in a driveway?’ (he said) ‘Well, ma’am you already have $8,500 already laid down. We just won’t do the rest of it.’ I said ‘I don’t want half my driveway done.’ Oh my God, they were terrible. The leader cut the price from $18,000 to $9,000,″ Becoat said. "I didn’t have $9,000. I had no thousand dollars to give them for a driveway. Right here at Christmas time, you’re talking all this kind of money for a driveway.”

Eulette wrote a check payable to a Robert Hicks for $6,000 thinking she had to pay something. Then she called a friend at a different company who said their driveway was a $2,000 job at the most.

“He said ‘$18,000? Nope.’ He said that’s a scam. That’s all I had to hear was that it was a scam,” Becoat said.

The check bounced, so the pavers returned to her home to get their money and she pounced.

“Y’all are overcharging us. You are actually being criminal about what you’re doing. If that $6,000 check had cashed - they would not have come back and finished the work. They would have been gone and I would have been stuck with a bigger mess than what they left out there,” she said.

The pavers dug up what they put down and left a pile of asphalt. Eulette hired a different company to do the job right and was charged $1,300.

“The first thing he did was measure the driveway. We have 760 square feet. 760 square feet is our driveway. This man said 1,900 square feet,” Becoat said.

The pavers then left her house and find another victim blocks away, but they didn’t know the new target had surveillance cameras on his driveway. Homeowner Terry Howell said he walked over to find out why they were on his property.

“I told them to leave," Becoat said.

Terry said the man agreed to pave a small section for a couple of hundred dollars. He says only one guy showed up at his house initially.

“One person and within an hour, I’ve got the biggest mess you’ve ever seen. One person and then 20 minutes later a million dollar worth of equipment showed up at my house,” Howell said.

When it appeared that the pavers intended to pave his whole driveway, Terry stopped them.

“They dumped the hopper right here in the middle of the driveway. Thank goodness I had my sister and my girlfriend here and they helped me flatten it out some,” Howell said.

The lead guy demanded $5,500 for what they had already done. Howell refused to pay and says they retaliated by using their equipment.

“He turned the paving machine around and started doing figure eights on it and digging it back up. I’m left with a mess. A big mess that has to be gotten up. You can’t drive on it,” Howell said.

He got perfect pictures of the pavers, clear faces and their trucks and now, so do Henrico police detectives.

“Going to court, that will be my hallmark. I’ll take and shovel up every piece of this stuff myself to see them in court,” Howell said.

On Your Side Investigator Diane Walker is told a third person in Henrico had an encounter with the paving crew. A woman supposedly just wanted an estimate. By the time it was over, the pavers were demanding $9,000. She wrote a check for $3,000 but got her bank to stop payment after they left.

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