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AURORA, Colo. — Contact7 is getting results for an Aurora veteran who said he and many others were ripped off by Mastercraf Exteriors.
Now, as more people come forward with similar stories, one generous viewer decided to do something about it.
"I was about to make dinner, turned on Channel 7, and saw your story first thing," said IkeJon Nissen, owner of Berthoud-based Roof Link, who was watching Denver7 on Wednesday evening. "About halfway through, I felt an overwhelming prompting from somebody upstairs telling me this is something you need to act upon."
Sometimes watching the news can become an action sport, which is how Nissen ended up on top of Robert James' Aurora home, getting ready to replace the roof and gutters — completely free of charge.
"After seeing that story, I just felt compelled to give you a hand," said Nissen to James. "I’m here on behalf of my company to make sure you get everything taken care of for free."
James, a 79-year-old veteran, signed a contract last year with Mastercraft Exteriors for a new roof, and gave the company a $7,000 insurance check. He never saw the company again.
"With my wife going in and out of hospital, it’s been rough," said James, who has been trying to save enough money for another deposit. "I don't know who will go first, but I don't want to leave her with things to do around the house."
Contact7 found the company's Westminster office locked during business hours, but Aurora police confirmed that James is one of more than ten cases against Mastercraft Exteriors all over the Denver Metro area.
In a statement, investigators said:
“Aurora Police detectives are currently investigating multiple allegations of fraud in Aurora involving roofing company Mastercraft Exteriors which is based out of Minnesota with an office in Westminster. We ask anyone who believes they may be a victim of fraud to please call their local law enforcement agency. If the fraud occurred in another city with Mastercraft Exteriors the Aurora Police Department detectives will collaborate with other agencies who have received similar reports.
It is common for companies from outside of Colorado to solicit business after disaster has hit an area. In such instances, the consumer should be especially diligent in researching the contractors they seek to conduct business with.
Some suggestions are to research businesses of state regulated professions on the Department of Regulatory Agencies website, ask your insurance company for contractor recommendations, research the company online, and consider a local company who is well established with a good reputation.”
Meanwhile, more upset clients are coming forward with familiar stories. A hail storm pummeled Luke Pratte's home in Lafayette three days after he bought it.
"They just came up to my door with all their materials and nice branded trucks," said Pratte, who said after Mastercraft cashed his $10,000 insurance check, he got a text from the salesperson saying the company had gone out of business. "It’s probably a great lesson in maturity and home ownership for me, unfortunately."
Back in Aurora, Nissen examined James' roof and showed him hail-resistant shingles to be installed next week at no cost.
"There’s plenty of reputable, good companies," Nissen said. "The injustice of someone in my industry taking advantage of an elderly man, a veteran who served our country, to take his money and disappear is very upsetting to me. I felt I had to do the right thing and try to make up for it and make it a little bit easier for Mr. James."
For James, the person volunteering to help him is restoring his faith that some people do the right thing.
"No one has ever done anything for me. No one," he said. "But I really appreciate it. I really do. There are still some good people in this world."