Roofer charged for fraud

Published 2:25 am Saturday, March 2, 2019

Took $28K from 9 customers, did not deliver

A joint investigation by the Covington County Sheriff’s Office and the Andalusia Police Department led to nine theft charges being filed against a local roofing contractor accused of taking pre-payments totaling $29,688 for work he never completed.

According to press release issued by the CCSO late Friday night, Ronnie Kelley Cox, 57, has been charged with six counts of theft of property in the first degree; two counts of theft of property in the second degree; and one count of theft of property in the fourth degree. H is bond was set at $143,000.

The investigation began on January 28. According the press release,

Cox would contract with local residents to install and/ or do roof repair. After talking with homeowners, he would request a partial payment for materials, but would neither purchase material, nor accomplish the contracted work.

Further investigation revealed nine separate victims who were deprived of more than $29,688. The investigation lasted several weeks, and some of the victims sustained water damage because their homes were not repaired and they lacked the addition funds to hire another contractor. In all nine cases, the victims made numerous attempts to contact Cox and were either avoided or put off.  Investigators learned that Cox frequently went to the casino located in Atmore.

After a similar investigation in 2018, Cox avoided arrest by returning money to victims after learning he was under investigation.

CCSO Investigator  Joey Cato and APD Investigator Gene Jackson conducted the investigation which led to his arrest.

“Thanks to APD for working with the Sheriff’s Department to get justice for these victims,” Sheriff Blake Turman said. “Investigator Cato has seven cases in the county and Investigator Jackson had two in the city. That is nine families that have been affected by these acts of criminal deception.  A proper arrest was made and an air tight case was made.”

Turman reminded local residents to be wary of contractors who demand payment in advance.

“Check references, do your homework and report the issue to the authorities immediately,” he said.

APD Chief Paul Hudson commended both investigators.

“I am proud of the job Sgt Jackson does on a daily basis, but especially when collaborative work with other agencies assists in bringing justice to all victims affected.”

Anyone who believes he or she is a victim of the roofer and has not reported the incident is asked contact Investigator Joey Cato at the Covington County Sheriff’s Office, 334-428-2640.