Play this first to get in the proper frame of mind. Bounce back here when you're done, I'll wait!
Part One: This is my first dip into the small-town criminal justice system and so far, I'm discouraged. I called the sheriff's office on Saturday as I began to realize we were in the process of being scammed. A very nice man there asked me a bunch of questions but finally determined that there was no crime that had been committed by our contractor yet. The low-life had our money and had not done what was promised, but the dates committed to were all verbal and there was a possibility that he was just running behind. I guess stealing his girlfriends car wasn't a bad enough sign that he was up to no good. The sergeant recommended that I call back today after lunch, if I still hadn't heard from him.
I just hung up today with whoever answers the phones at the sheriff's office and I asked for the investigator who the sergeant told me to call today. Apparently he is not working today. I then told the good-ole-boy that I didn't want to wait because, if there's a chance to catch this guy before he slips into Mexico, I want to file the report sooner rather than later. He told me that someone would call me back sometime. I wanted to know when and he said he had no idea. I asked him if it would be today and he said yes it would. There was nothing left to do but hang up.
It's now been ten minutes since that phone call, and the good-ole-boy has called me back! Apparently, he called the investigator who is headed into the office and will be calling me when he gets there. Mr. Investigator is probably pissed that he couldn't finish hunting whatever's in season right now and has to take some crazy Yankee lady's report about some piddly amount of money that's already been spent on strippers and Jim Beam. I asked if it would be helpful for me to meet him there and he told me to sit tight and wait for his call.
Time for another "doink doink" sound effect.
Part Two: Mr. Investigator turns out to be a very nice guy! Good-ole-boy has been a little more helpful too. Mr. Investigator found out that our crooked contractor (or CC, for short) is not using our money for Jim Beam but instead is probably using it to support his known crack habit! Not only that, CC no longer has a valid contractor's license or driver's license!
Mr. Investigator asked us for the contract, and a statement from my husband detailing the transaction between them. He also told us to write and send a certified letter to CC's last known address dissolving the contract and asking for our money back. This is a formality since CC has left town in a stolen car and is on the lam. After we do this, we have to wait FIFTEEN DAYS to give him a chance to reply. That gives him plenty of time to smoke $5,000 worth of crack before we start hunting him down to spend Christmas in jail. Looks like it could be a happy ending, huh?