PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With her $3,000 driveway job a bed of rubble, Kim Hoffman came to district court looking to get her money back, but mostly to hold contractor Vinne Mitchell of Elite Sealing accountable.
“Really just to stop this cycle of taking advantage of people and running with their money,” she said Tuesday.READ MORE: Pennsylvania Ended Extended Jobless Benefits, Unemployment Rate Falls Below 5%
KDKA last saw Mitchell on Sunday night as he and his family were packing up a U-Haul under eviction orders from a rental house in Bethel Park. In the morning, the family was gone without paying a cent of back rent.
A once-pristine garage on the property is now cluttered with buckets of tar and filthy equipment used in their roofing and paving jobs. The mess was left for landlord Erin Murray to clean up, along with the overgrown grass and dandelions they were supposed to trim.READ MORE: Hundreds March Through Pittsburgh In Solidarity With Palestine
“I’m going to use every means at my disposal through the legal system to get every dime that they owe me and help the other people they’ve robbed,” said Murray.
Not surprisingly, Mitchell didn’t show up in court on Tuesday. The judge granted Hoffman the $3,000 judgment, but she has no means of collecting. That doesn’t she’s given up the fight.
“This is exactly what they do. They will lie low for a while. … I will be on the social media platforms watching for their names and warning everybody I can,” she said.MORE NEWS: 'A Solemn Day For A Solemn Ride': Local Police Honor Fallen Officers With Memorial Ride
It fits the pattern of what KDKA has covered in the past. These out-of-state driveway and roof contractors seem to disappear once the victims involve the law and the courts. But the system seems unable or unwilling to track them down and hold them accountable.