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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Four asphalt workers arrested on warrants

  • Four men allegedly involved in a local asphalt scam were arrested Wednesday on unrelated charges, though more could be brought to jail soon.


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  • Four men allegedly involved in a local asphalt scam were arrested Wednesday on unrelated charges, though more could be brought to jail soon.
    Meanwhile, the Newton County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents to still keep a watch out for the con operation. 
    Authorities say a man driving a red pickup with Oklahoma tags and no company name displayed has been knocking on doors along Old Highway 60 asking if residents want to have their driveways asphalted at a discount rate. According to witnesses, he doesn’t actually quote a price but says he’ll give them a good deal, usually telling a false story about having just finished up a big job and there being some asphalt left over. If the resident agrees, the man will call out his road crew of around 10 guys to quickly knock out the job.
    After doing the work with the understanding it will be at markdown cost, he presents an exorbitant fee. According to Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland, one person was reportedly charged $4,000 for what was assumed would be about an $800 job.
    If and when the victim objects to the high cost, the man and his crew resort to physical intimidation to get the money.
    “It’s an age-old con game is what it is,” Copeland said. 
    Deputies arrested four of the crew Wednesday afternoon on outstanding warrants when they were found working on a driveway about a mile west of George Washington Carver Elementary on Norway Road (Old 60 Highway). After making contact with the subjects, IDs were run through the criminal database.
    Copeland said the department is looking to round up the rest of the ring on charges of deceptive business practices or similar accusations.
    At least 20 local residents have been extorted in just the past few days, Copeland said.
    He added that if anyone feels they have been a victim of the scam, they should notify the sheriff’s office at 451-8300.
    For future reference, meanwhile, Copeland stated that if someone shows up at the door with what sounds like a great deal but doesn’t have any business credentials or otherwise seems suspicious, residents should notify local authorities.
    “We’ll be glad to come out and make sure everything is legit,” Copeland said.
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