Unlicensed contractor says he will return $3,600

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PHOENIX -- At 6 feet 4 inches tall and nearly 300 pounds, Roger Stowe finally found himself under arrest.

Stowe is an unlicensed contractor hired by a Phoenix homeowner named Joe Neuheisel.   

Neuheisal said he found Stowe on the popular website Craigslist and hired him to install some granite countertops and cabinets in his kitchen. 

The former U.S. Marine said he got several bids, but the cheapest bid by far came from Stowe, who Neuheisel said seemed like a nice guy.

"We connected," Neuheisel said. "I was military and he was military. We talked about a few things."

Nearly three months ago when Neuheisal hired him, he handed over two checks totaling $3,600 and made out to Stowe just to get the project started.

However, after getting those checks, Stowe didn't seem interested in doing the remodeling job after all and reportedly took off with the money.

"I'm embarrassed that I let this guy snowball me," Neuheisel said.

So, Neuheisel contacted 3 On Your Side for help. We discovered Stowe had a warrant out for his arrest and 3 On Your Side was there when he was detained by police.

While in handcuffs, Stowe explained to me that Neuheisal was to blame for the job not getting started, saying the homeowner
was difficult to work with and claimed he canceled the job.

"He had canceled it a week before delivery. Why do you believe him and not me?" Stowe asked.

Well, Stowe has been accused of this kind of stuff before. In fact, the arrest warrant that landed Stowe in handcuffs stems from $30,000 that he took from a homeowner and reportedly walked off the job.

He's also been busted twice before on charges of contracting without a license.

But, on this day, Stowe got a heck of a break. The unlicensed contractor was unhandcuffed and allowed to go free because Yavapai County issued a countywide warrant and not a statewide warrant. As it turns out, Yavapai officials were unable to come to the Valley and pick Stowe up so he had to be released.

Out of handcuffs and back on the street, Stowe seemed relieved. He said that he planned on returning all $3,600 back to Neuheisal in about a month. It's quite a promise and one that 3 On Your Side will follow up on.

"I don't want this guy's money if I didn't earn it," Neuheisel said. "We're not going anywhere."

I'll let you know if the $3,600 is returned.