ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A Maryland man wanted for scamming seniors out of money in a paving operation is behind bars tonight in South Carolina. Police in Anne Arundel County have been looking for Tommy Clack since the end of April. ABC2 News Joce Sterman explains why.
Pouring blacktop in the heat of summer is tough work. But one local man, Tommy Clack, was certainly making it worth his while. Police say he went door to door in Anne Arundel County, offering to pave driveways at a low price. But that's not what people ended up paying. County Police spokesman Justin Mulcahy says, "Later on he would charge them a significant amount more money than he had talked about in the estimate and then he would move on to another location."
Mulcahy says it happened to at least two seniors in our area back in April, but this isn't a new scheme for Clack. According to the Attorney General's Office in North Carolina, Clack ran a similar paving game there last year, charging seniors tens of thousands more than he quoted for work. The AG in North Carolina banned him from business and earlier this month, charged him with contempt for continuing anyway.
Authorities in a few states have been looking for Clack and so have Anne Arundel County police, who got a break when the 39-year-old with an Annapolis address was picked up by a task force in South Carolina on Tuesday. Mulcahy tells ABC2, "We're still investigating this case. At this point we're looking at numerous incidents that he may be linked to here in the county."
Those incidents all started with a simple offer and ended with seniors spending way more than they ever thought for paving simply because they didn't get an estimate in writing. That's why Mulcahy warns, "If a person is coming around and only giving you a verbal estimate and they refuse to give you a written estimate, that's definitely a tell tale sign that something's not right."
Anne Arundel County Police are working with the State's Attorneys office to see if Clack can be extradited back here to Maryland to face numerous charges. They say he also used the name Tommy Clark for business and operated as "Maryland Asphalt Paving Company". Clack's attorney, Crighton Chase, didn't want to comment for our story.
Authorities say paving scams are common during this time of year, so if someone comes to your door offering to pave or do housework, you need to do your homework. You need to find out if they're licensed in Maryland. You should also check out the company through the Better Business Bureau and don't feel pressured to say yes right away. Experts say you should get several estimates before having any work done and never commit unless the contractor is willing to provide a written estimate.