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Saddle Brook-Elmwood Park Daily Voice serves Elmwood Park & Saddle Brook

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Beware the driveway paving scam

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

ALERT: Beware of fly-by-day driveway repairmen, says Saddle Brook Police Chief Robert J. Kugler, whose squad this week picked off one without a license who told police he was “looking to make money.”

“It’s especially important now, especially because of the current economic times,” Kugler told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

“People are always interested in getting a good deal, whether it’s on improvements or anything they need,” the chief said. “The ‘sounds good’ price seems great, but most times you end up with shoddy work or no work work at all. Then you will have to spend additional money for the repair to be done afterwards.”

Thanks to vigilant citizens, police in Saddle Brook’s north end stopped a 1998 maroon Chevrolet C-1500 pickup with New York license plates with two men who were trying to drum up business through driveway fixes Tuesday morning.

Trouble was: They had a regular bag of asphalt, some ordinary tools and little else — all but guaranteeing a substandard job, Kugler said. Even worse, he said, they weren’t properly licensed.

Despite such real-life stories, longtime experience shows that some homeowners still fall for what essentially is a scam. They end up with the one thing they don’t need: a patch instead of a fix, or, worse, oil sprayed on to make the driveway look freshly paved.

They have no recourse once the strangers have moved on, seeking — and hitting — targets elsewhere.

In Tuesday’s indicent, police discoverd that 28-year-old Charles Cooper of Trumansburg, NY, was driving while on the suspended list. He received a summons, Kugler said.

The passenger also had his license suspended, the chief added.

NOTE: It’s a separate story, but as Kugler noted: “Properly registered home improvement contractors are not likely to perform shoddy or fraudulent repairs at your expense.”

More charges are expected from the municipality, for operating with the necessary permits, and from the state Division of Consumer Affairs for not being propertly registered as a home improvement contractor.

“Its important for the public to be aware that home improvement contractors are required to
be properly registered annually with the State of NJ Division of Consumer Affairs,” Kugler said. “In compliance with the law, private contractors must have valid liability insurance and not possess past practices and behavior indicative of fraud and/or incompetence.”


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