GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A local teacher says she paid a man thousands of dollars to replace her roof and he disappeared with her money.
But then something remarkable happened.
Gwinnett County police told Channel 2's Matt Johnson that the man may still be operating with a fraudulent business, asking for money up front and never doing any work.
Amber Hamilton said she thought it would take a decade to recover from the roofing scam that set her back $8,000.
“I had just given up,” Hamilton told Johnson Thursday night. “I’m a schoolteacher. I work hard for my money, so I was very frustrated, very disgusted.”
While Gwinnett County police look for the suspected scammer, Eric Lopez, Hamilton said she got an unexpected call from the detective.
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“He said we have a company that wants to do your roof for free,” Hamilton said. “I was like, for free? What are you talking about?”
Kevin Barrelle, with Barrelle Roofing, said he learned Hamilton was one of the victims in the scam and didn't hesitate to help.
“She’s a schoolteacher. She shouldn’t be worried about when she’s in there teaching if her roof is going to leak,” Barrelle told Johnson..
His team used donated supplies from ABC Supply in Winder and replaced Hamilton's entire roof on Thursday for free.
“It’s a blessing to be able to be a blessing,” Barrelle said.
“My roof looks beautiful. It looks like I have a brand-new home,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton didn't think this day would come any time soon after police say Lopez took her $8,000 insurance check last year and never came back.
They believe he took about $17,000 from victims before doing any work while claiming to be with Renaissance Construction.
Hamilton told Johns that she wants to warn others that not everyone is as reputable as the roofers who came to her rescue.
“I don’t mind sharing what happened if it well help someone not to be as foolish as I was,” Hamilton said.
Police say Lopez is in his early 20s and was operating out of the Buford area.