SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A trusting homeowner says she never thought to question the friendly and seemingly professional neighborhood couple she hired for a remodeling job.
That is, until the job never got done, leaving the Shreveport woman out of thousands of dollars.
Adding insult to injury, Patty McCrary said she and her family also became the victims of theft when thousands of dollars worth of their belongings disappeared from their home.
"This is the bathroom that was supposed to be being remodeled," she pointed out.
The ordeal has proved to be a big disappointment, McCrary said, especially when you consider she hired that couple in January.
Two months later, there's little to no progress.
"I don't remember them ever working a full day. They just, there was a lot of excuses that come up."
Then last week, McCrary said, the contractors hired someone else to help them work on the project.
McCrary said they didn't tell her.
It was a perfect stranger coming in and out of her house.
"This has been going on two months. And it just came to a head just a week ago."
McCrary said $2,000 in four cans of change, intended for a family vacation, and hundreds of dollars worth of electronics were taken.
She called police March 6.
That led to the arrests of 35-year-old Gregory Hunt and 43-year-old Stacy Koelemay on charges of theft and home improvement fraud.
KSLA News 12 tried reaching out to the contractors to hear their side of the story.
When a reporter went to their front door, someone said to come around back.
That's where Koelemay greeted the news crew.
She promptly turned away and went back inside when asked about the fraud allegations.
People should always check the Louisiana contractor licensing board's website before hiring a contractor, Shreveport police financial crimes Detective Jeffrey Bordelon said.
"It's very easy, user-friendly. You can check their names, see if they are licensed properly.
McCrary said listening to such advice could have saved her a lot of time and money.
"I've spent over $5,000 and that's what I have for it, to show for it right now."
McCrary said she now has hired a licensed contractor who is expected to soon finish her bathroom once and for all.
As for that employee hired by the contractors, that stranger who was coming in and out of McCrary's house last week has not been identified nor arrested.
Police said the case is still under investigation.