While police aren’t usually called to resolve a consumer complaint, a Kendall officer won special honors for doing just that job.
It all began in advance of the hurricane season when a Kendall woman called a contractor to install shutters on her garage. The woman, who wrote out a check for $425 requested by the contractor, told Miami- Dade Police Det. Maurice Dutoit that it was cashed the same date it was written.
Her problem: as of July 3, she had not seen the contractor again, nor any materials he had claimed were needed to do the job.
A key to finding him was getting a phone number from an acquaintance that wound up a “lengthy investigation” to identify the missing contractor, according to Barry White, chair of the Miami-Dade Police Kendall District Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC).
Not only did Det. Dutoit locate and contact the contractor, but he convinced him to return the missing $425 which the detective was then able to present in person to the distraught homeowner.
Commended for his alertness and expeditious investigative skills, Det. Dutoit was awarded a citation as Officer of the Month for July by Ryan Devereux, CAC vice chair, pinch-hitting for White at an Aug. 29 CAC meeting.
Police warn homeowners to protect themselves by a thorough confirmation of credentials of any contractor or salesperson before handing over cash or a check.