Two suspects are in police custody regarding home improvement fraud in Fleetwood.
Jerry Allen, 41, Easton, was taken into custody without incident by the Palmer Township Police Department, Northampton County on the evening of July 3. Allen waived extradition to Berks County and was transported to the Berks County Central processing Center and delivered to the custody of the Berks County Sheriff’s Department. At 3:30 a.m. on July 4 he appeared before MDJ Ronald C. Mest for a preliminary arraignment. Allen was committed to Berks County Prison in Lieu of $25,000 cash bail.
Mark Kowalski, 28, Temple, turned himself in at the office of MDJ Gail Greth on July 17. After a preliminary hearing, Kowalski was remanded to Berks County Prison in lieu of $10,000 cash bail.
According to police, a Fleetwood man reported to police in May that he had been taken advantage of by two separate contractors about a month apart while trying to complete property improvements to his residence.
In March, Jerry Allen, DBA Interior Motives Renovations, was contracted to build a 22x14 sunroom at the rear of the victim’s primary residence for the sum of $5,800. Allen accepted a down payment of $2,800 and began the demolition phase of the project during which time, he damaged the siding on the residence. Two days after beginning demolition, Allen requested another check for $1,000 for materials and the day after receiving that check, the victim alleges he attempted to change the specifications of the contracted work and advised the victim if he didn’t like it he would just refund his money. The victim immediately advised Allen he wanted a refund and successfully stopped payment on the $1,000 check. The victim unsuccessfully tried to contact Allen for a refund before reporting the incident to police.
In April, Mark Kowalski, DBA Kowalski Construction, was contracted to build a deck at the rear of the victim’s residence for a sum of $3,400. The date and time of the scheduled completion date came without any action to begin the job. The victim alleges that after making several excuses and unfulfilled promises, Kowalski broke off contact with the victim. The victim then reported the incident to the police.
Both subjects were charged with theft and felony violations of the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act on July 1.