Unlicensed contractor arrested on fraud charges

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Stewart Charles Rooker By Jennifer Thomas Stewart Charles Rooker By Jennifer Thomas
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- Phoenix police have arrested an unlicensed contractor suspected of defrauding several citizens following a 17-month investigation.

Police received a complaint in March 2013 about Stewart Charles Rooker, now 42, who had reportedly been hired by several people for home remodeling.

Police and investigators from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors discovered Rooker had allegedly portrayed himself as a licensed contractor and defrauded 10 people out of at least $80,000.

In one case, Rooker was reportedly hired by a woman whose mother had just died. According to police, he verbally agreed to remove old furniture from her home and purchase new appliances.

Police said the woman paid Rooker $3,150 and he removed the furniture but never purchased or installed appliances.

Police said records show that Rooker was fined on several occasions for contracting without a license before police became involved.

Rooker is also accused of using a valid contractor's license number to steal.

It is unknown how many people have been victimized, police said.

Rooker was arrested on a grand jury warrant Thursday and booked into jail on felony charges of fraud schemes, theft and identity theft.

Phoenix police advise the public to only hire licensed contractors and to call the Registrar of Contractors if there is any uncertainty.