5 On Your Side: Mission homeowner out of thousands of dollars after paying roofer who disappeared
As a bus driver with the Mission school district, Raul Guerra Jr, says he likes to sit on his patio and drink coffee during his free time.
He says it’s something he began to do more of after the spring storms destroyed his roof, causing water to leak in his home.
Guerra said he needed someone to fix his roof, and a contractor with a business called M&M Roofing and Construction approached him about it in July.
“I was sitting here just relaxing, and a truck showed up, a gentleman got off,” Guerra said. “He introduced himself as Chris Perez, and he offered to fix my roof cause it was damaged by the hail."
Parts of his roof had no shingles, so Guerra said he was open to the offer.
Guerra trusted the contractor because he saw business signs down the street in front of his neighbor's house.
“I had nothing to doubt since he was doing it down the street,” Guerra said. “So I say, ‘I have an insurance check and since you're doing it down the street, I’ll let you do my house.’"
Guerra wrote a check of more than $6,200 to Perez, who took measurements of the roof and provided a contract for Guerra to sign.
Guerra said Perez told him once he finished the house down the street, he'd be back to work on Guerra’s house the following week.
Weeks went by without Perez returning. Guerra said he was told by Perez he was waiting for materials.
“The check that we gave him, we checked with traveler's insurance, he cashed it right away,” Guerra said.
Guerra began calling and texting Perez, who did not respond until Guerra said he would file a police report.
“Within an hour he texted me, when he had ignored my calls, [saying] ‘no no no don't do that,’" Guerra said.
Perez apologized to Guerra for the delay.
“This is in July,” Guerra said. “On Aug. 3, he texted me saying he wasn't able to come here because his mother-in-law had just died.”
Guerra said Perez had previously told his neighbors the same thing.
Channel 5 News attempted to reach out to Perez with the information on his business card, but none of the calls were answered.
Channel 5 News also visited the location of the M&M Roofing and Construction office at the address listed on Perez’s business card. There was no business there with that name, and nearby business owners said they’ve never heard of the company.
A second number on the business card was traced to an individual named Christopher Perez in Sugarland, near Houston.
A company, RHR Construction, is linked to Perez's name
RHR construction has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau.
“Consumer complaints alleged that although RHR Construction was paid to replace the roof, the work was not done,” Better Business Bureau of South Texas President Hilda Martinez said. “Consumers are seeking for full refund. They also reached out to the company and they do not either answer or return phone calls, he just takes the money and runs."
Guerra has since filed a police report.
“If the man gives me my money back, I am willing to drop the charges,” Guerra said.
The Better Business Bureau recommends researching contractors before hiring them, and to file a police report and a consumer complaint through the Texas Attorney General's website if they’re in a similar situation.