Beware paying in advance for services

By Linda Trest, Staff Writer
Posted 10/21/20

Chellee Niermeyer of Union, hired a man, identified by Union Police as white male from Gerald, to power wash and stain her deck and fence. She was asked to pay up front so that he could buy supplies …

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Beware paying in advance for services

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Chellee Niermeyer of Union, hired a man, identified by Union Police as white male from Gerald, to power wash and stain her deck and fence. She was asked to pay up front so that he could buy supplies and rent necessary equipment.

Niermeyer wrote a $1,000 check made payable to the suspect in early October. He did return to her home to drop off some buckets of stain, but he has not returned to perform any work and will not answer her calls.

A similar situation happened to a couple who live just north of Gerald. They also wrote a check, this time for $1,700, to the same white male. In return, they were to have some trees trimmed, a large one taken down and other jobs performed.

The man did trim one tree, took down a large oak, but then left, leaving a huge mess in their yard. The homeowners say that at first their phone calls to the man were answered with excuses as to why he had not yet finished the job. Eventually, he just quit answering their calls.

Niermeyer filed a complaint with the Union Police Department and the Gerald couple has also informed them of their experience. Neirmeyer found they are not alone after posting her experience on Facebook. There are dozens of cases of similar things happening to unsuspecting people.

In both instances the man appears clean-cut, friendly and trustworthy, often brings along a child and indicates he needs the money in advance to feed his family, fix his vehicle or buy supplies.

Capt. Rick Neace, with the UPD, released information concerning the Niermeyer case. He notes the suspect is a 49-year-old white male from Gerald.

“Over the course of a decade, officers have been taking similar reports about this individual doing similar things throughout the Franklin County area,” Neace writes.

Union police are continuing to investigate. No charges have been filed at this time.

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