PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When the Garden City Volunteer Fire Department needed a new roof last summer they reached out to a local company, called All-Weather Roofing.
But $6,300 later, they instead got – by all appearances – a slipshod pasting of rubber sheeting over problem areas.
“Every protrusion on the roof looks like this,” said volunteer firefighter Rich Atwood. “They just cut pieces of it, and I don’t know, Elmer’s glued them on. You step on this and you can hear the water swishing in there.”
The roof was the work of a father-son team named Lawrence and Mario Mitchell, who worked out of a house in Turtle Creek and who KDKA Investigators have been tracking for years.
But now, responding to KDKA’s investigation, the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office has filed warrants for their arrests.
A criminal complaint accuses the Mitchells of theft by deception, including allegedly fixing the roof of the Knickerbocker Russell Company. Vents they put on their roof turned out not be vents at all, but just dummies.
KDKA’s Andy Sheehan: “So, you were basically taken?”
Knickerbocker Russell Company’s Bill Phillips: “Oh yes. Big time.”
“We do everything we can do to keep the lights on in this place,” added Atwood.
But after they say they were taken by the Mitchells, the volunteer firefighters had to shell out another $19,000 to get the roof properly repaired.
Atwood says he’s looking forward to their prosecution.
“See them sitting in a courtroom, maybe breaking a sweat for fear of something happening,” says Atwood. “Call it retribution if you want, but I’d get some joy in that.”
After several attempts to execute the arrest warrant failed, the Mitchells called the District Attorney’s Office to say that they are out of state and will turn themselves in in early January.
Roofers Accused Of Shoddy Work Once More (6/13/12)
KDKA Investigation Gets Results: D.A. Investigates Roofer (12/3/12)
More Reports from Andy Sheehan