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Peoria woman 'mowed' over by landscaper

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Kathy Lewis hired an unlicensed contractor to landscape her front and backyard. (Source: KTVK) Kathy Lewis hired an unlicensed contractor to landscape her front and backyard. (Source: KTVK)
Lewis hired the husband-wife duo of Fernando and Melissa Baltierrez but claim they never started the work even after taking $600. (Source: KTVK) Lewis hired the husband-wife duo of Fernando and Melissa Baltierrez but claim they never started the work even after taking $600. (Source: KTVK)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

A Peoria woman is learning first-hand the risks of hiring contractors who are not licensed. 

All she wanted was a green lawn but in the process, she lost $600.

She realizes it could have been worse. Still, she doesn't want this to happen to you.

“I'm looking for green grass,” Kathy Lewis said.

Lewis just recently moved to Arizona. And although she knows it's hot here, she'd still like to have some green grass in her yard.

So, her daughter Diana Joseph wanted to help her get that done.

“My mom just recently moved back here from Denver. She's tired of looking at the dirt in the front and in the back so she's wanting to have some landscaping done,” Joseph said.

Lewis and Joseph looked around for a landscaping company and found a business using an app called 5 Miles

The name of the company is Baltierrez Affordable Landscaping and according to Joseph, it's run by a husband and wife duo, Fernando and Melissa Baltierrez.  

Fernando claimed he and his wife had connections in the landscaping industry and that impressed the two women when it came to holding down the costs.

“He indicated that he's able to get a really good deal,” said Joseph. 

Fernando claimed he could put down sod and an irrigation system in the front and backyard for $2,100.

However, he needed some money upfront to get the project started right away.

It's not a surprising request from unlicensed contractors like Fernando.

“He indicated he could start on that Wednesday, he came on Monday to pick up the check for $600,” said Joseph. 

Well, Fernando immediately cashed the check and, never showed back up again.

Why? Well, he had all kinds of excuses.

“He said that his mother was in the hospital with end stage breast cancer so he couldn't do the job,” said Joseph. 

And with that, Lewis and Joseph never heard from the Baltierrez couple again.

3 On Your Side got involved but the Fernando and his wife never did return our numerous phone calls or online messages.

Lewis and Joseph say they should have known they were going to be duped and say, they'll never hand over money up front for a project again.

“I was really excited. I was like, 'I'm gonna have grass,' and nope,” Lewis said sadly.

By the way, always hire a contractor who is licensed.  And if you can, avoid handing over any money up front to get a job started.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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