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Police warn of driveway scheme

July 23, 1997

An Outer Drive resident recently got "taken'' by three men who paved his driveway and then charged him nearly double the going rate, Hagerstown City Police said.

Officer Brian Barnhart said there isn't much police can do because the victim doesn't have any paperwork on the job.

"He believes they told him the company was called Kidwell,'' Barnhart said. A check of that company name didn't turn up anything to indicate it was a valid firm, he said.

Three men in a red truck approached the victim while he was working in his yard and offered to do his driveway, which they said needed repairs, police said.

The man asked for an estimate but wasn't given one. When the work was done, the amount the men charged the victim turned out to be excessive, police said.

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"One of the three men was white, 6 feet 2 inches tall, 220-230 pounds and spoke with a southern accent,'' Barnhart said.

The other two men, also white, were between 5 feet 7 and 5 feet 9 inches tall, and weighing 130-150 pounds.

Police advise that anyone thinking about doing business with unfamiliar companies find out if they have a required Maryland home improvement license and then get a written estimate before the work is done.

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