CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) — A Montana man is facing charges of First Degree Theft as part of a derecho repair scam in which he stole nearly $20,000 from a Cedar Rapids man.
William Hurlbut, 56, of Belgrade, Montana was arrested in Johnson County Monday night on a warrant issued by Cedar Rapids Police and the Linn County Attorney’s Office. The warrant had been issued for his arrest last Friday.
Investigators say the victim, a 56-year-old man filed the theft report with CRPD on December 1, 2020. He said he signed a contract with Hurlbut on September 12, 2020 with the agreement Hurlbut would repair the roof and siding of the victim’s home in southeast Cedar Rapids.
Two days after signing the contract, the victim gave Hurlbut $5,287 in cash as a down payment. Less than two weeks later, he gave Hurlbut an additional $4,600 in cash as an additional down payment. Between the end of September and the beginning of November, the victim contacted Hurlbut several times asking when the work would begin. Hurlbut allegedly gave several excuses for not beginning the repairs.
The victim also provided a blank check made out to a hardware store that was to be used to purchase roofing and siding materials. However, Hurlbut allegedly bought personal items with a portion of the check. In addition, he supposedly scheduled delivery dates for materials to be delivered to the victim’s home, but the items were never delivered. Hurlbut allegedly returned some…