Authorities arrested a local contractor after he allegedly agreed to blacktop a woman’s driveway, but instead dumped a mess of crushed stone and pavement sealer over the top of it.
Stephen W. Borawski, 32, of Hasswell Road was charged with felony third-degree criminal mischief and misdemeanor petit larceny today, after he turned himself into Colonie Police. He was arraigned on the charges and released on $750 bail.
The arrest stemmed from complaints investigators received from a pair of Colonie residents about a local contracting company doing business by the name of Michelle’s Construction and Paving. They claimed Borawski approached their respective homes unsolicited, offering to pave their driveways.
“He had this story that he had extra product and he just wanted to get it off his truck,” Lt. Robert Winn said.
In one case, the 77-year-old resident agreed to have Borawski pave her driveway for $700 and then paid him by check for the job on Oct. 1. But instead of paving, investigators said Borawski put down stone and then covered it with an unknown liquid believed to be pavement sealer.
Winn said the work actually created an unsafe condition on the driveway that needed to be repaired. Estimates suggest the woman will need to pay upward of $250 to undo the damage Borawski did.
The woman attempted to contact Borawski about the job through a phone number he provided, but the person who answered the number claimed to have no knowledge of him or his paving business. She then tried to cancel the check only to discover that it had been cashed less than an hour after she wrote it.
Winn said another resident contacted police around the same time, claiming Borawski agreed to pave her driveway for $950. Only instead of doing a cursory job, he allegedly cashed the check and didn’t do any work at all.
Borawski later returned to the residence and agreed to refund the money. Winn said the homeowner was satisfied by the refund and didn’t want to press any further charges.
“When he found out he was wanted he agreed to pay that woman back,” he said.
Borawski allegedly perpetrated a similar scam in Pittsfield, Mass., in 2007, according to a report published in the Berkshire Eagle. At the time, city police indicated they received more than a dozen complaints about his business, Just-in-Time Paving, over a two-year period.
Many of the complaints outlined in the account are similar in nature to the ones lodged in New York. Some customers claimed Borawski’s company approached them unsolicited offering to do a job with leftover product, only to charge them much more than they had originally expected.
At the time, Borawski defended his business, claiming the price increases were a result of the jobs requiring more product. He also claimed police were victimizing him.
It is unclear whether he faced any charges in Massachusetts. Pittsfield Police did not immediately return a call for comment Thursday.
Colonie investigators suspect Borawksi has perpetrated a similar scam elsewhere in the town and region. They are asking anyone with information about his company to call 783-2744 or their local police department.
“I’m concerned there’s more people out there,” Winn said.
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Categories: News, Schenectady County