Home improvement scammer busted in Centre County

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ) — A Centre County man is behind bars after police say he scammed someone out of $3,000.

Police arrested Edward Gardner Jr, 38, of Ginter, Pa, for a home improvement scam that took place in October 2022.

On Nov. 15 about a reported theft. Police learned that Gardner Jr. was hired to do concrete work at a person’s home. Gardner reportedly received a $2,500 check and $500 in cash on Oct. 7, according to the charges.

Five days later, the homeowner claimed Gardner Jr. told him he planned to have the work done by “weeks end.” After no work was completed, on Oct. 24, the homeowner sent a text to Gardner Jr., asking when the work was going to be done.

The homeowner claimed Gardner Jr. did not answer his texts.

On Oct. 31, the homeowner sent Gardner a certified letter asking for a refund, according to the criminal complaint. Gardner Jr. did not respond to the letter or additional texts from the homeowner.

Officers attempted to contact Gardner Jr. three times over a two-week period at the end of November but had no success in reaching him, according to the charges. Police also visited the home to confirm that work was not completed.

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Gardner Jr. is currently in the Centre County Prison facing three felonies including receiving payments for services and falling to perform and theft by deception.

His bail is set at $3,000 and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 18.