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ST. GEORGE – A Parowan handyman arrested for stealing second degree offenses for paying for a job he allegedly failed to show up for is in legal trouble as detectives continue to investigate a number of similar ones Complaints are investigating the Washington County Sheriff’s office.
Berklee Holm, 67, of Parowan, booking photo in Washington County, Utah, May 13, 2020 | Photo courtesy Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News
Berklee Holm, 67, was arrested Wednesday afternoon by sheriff detectives charged with investigating what was originally reported as a possible New Harmony fraud case.
MPs were sent to an apartment where the suspect was hired to build a garage. The homeowner told police that a man who was later identified as Holm made her a proposal to build the garage on Nov. 18 and told her he would need a $ 8,000 bail to start the job paid by check the same day.
The parties scheduled an appointment to start the job, but when it passed without hearing the suspect, the homeowner contacted Holm, who made “several excuses for being away from work,” and then stopped answering his calls , the official found documents submitted to the court.
The suspect was interviewed at the Washington County Sheriff’s office Wednesday afternoon when he allegedly admitted to police that he accepted the $ 8,000 check from the homeowner and then failed to complete the job or return any of their calls.
Holm was then arrested and sent to the Purgatory Correctional Facility, where he was subjected to second-degree theft.
Wednesday’s arrest wasn’t the suspect’s first approach to the law, and it may not be the last.
Sgt. Of the Washington County Sheriff’s. Nate Abbott told St. George News that detectives are investigating a handful of Washington County complaints against Holm and are working closely with prosecutors to ensure any incident reported involves apparent fraud or theft. They also investigate cases where the suspect was paid for work or services by the customer and then failed to do the work or even showed up as promised.
MPs were also able to tie a case filed in April after the suspect was arrested on April 3 by Hurricane Police officers over a similar incident.
Stock Image | Photo by Wutwhanfoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus, St. George News
This case concerned a $ 21,000 check issued to the suspect by a woman who hired his services to do a specific job on her property. A check he reportedly deposited into his account the same day. However, the homeowner mistakenly wrote a check that was significantly higher than the agreed amount, according to the records filed with the court.
The homeowner told police the suspects Offer a price of $ 4,200 to complete the job and he said he would need $ 2,100 to purchase materials at that point. She falsely said during the interview that she wrote a check for $ 21,000 and delivered it to Holm on March 13th. The homeowner then called the suspect several times, which went unanswered.
In addition, the suspect could neither return to the construction site on the agreed day nor complete the contractually agreed work.
He was arrested by hurricane police on April 4, and the case is pending, according to court records. In this case, the suspect is scheduled to appear in the 5th District Court for the first time on June 1st for a second degree crime for theft of misplaced / lost / mistaken property.
Holm was held on $ 10,000 bail after his arrest on Wednesday. According to proofreaders, he was released after bailing him out.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has an ongoing investigation that includes a number of complaints, Abbott said, and authorities have reason to believe that there may be more victims out there – not just in Washington County, but the ones as well surrounding counties in southern Utah and possibly Arizona and Nevada.
“We ask anyone who has reason to believe they have been betrayed by this suspect or who may have paid for services Holm never provided to call the Washington County Sheriff’s office and report it,” Abbott said .
Abbott added that even if an incident occurred outside of the local area, individuals can call the sheriff’s office for assistance, where they can be directed to their local law enforcement agency or contact point for information.
To report similar incidents or if anyone has information that may aid the investigation, call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 435-656-5730.
St. George News reporter Aspen Stoddard contributed to this report.
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Cody Blowers grew up in South San Francisco, California. A 2013 graduate of Colorado Technical University, Cody earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in paralegal studies. During her studies, she discovered that writing was her real passion and she is committed to credible, integrated reporting. Cody joined St. George News in 2015, and when she’s not busy keeping up with the news, she’s generally on the hunt for her young granddaughter, Kali.