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State police warn about asphalt scam, arrest man on outstanding warrant

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Michael Coope

POSEY COUNTY, Ind. (Aug. 17, 2015) – Indiana State Police are warning homeowners about a scam involving an asphalt crew.

On Friday, an employee from Oaks Construction approached a woman at her home in New Harmony in southwestern Indiana and said the crew had extra asphalt from a recent job in Mt. Vernon and could offer a good price to repave her driveway.

After being quoted a price between $1,000 and $2,000, the woman agreed and the crew went to work. When they were finished, one of the workers knocked on her door and demanded $6,000. The woman wrote a check and called her son, who then contacted Indiana State Police. State troopers stopped the crew on I-64 near the Indiana State Police post there.

One of the employees had an outstanding warrant out of Crawford County, Ill., for failure to appear in a home improvement fraud case. The man, Michael Coope, 34, Clinton, was taken to the Posey County Jail.

The woman managed to cancel the check before anyone cashed it.

State police believe the crew may have duped other victims with the scam. The asphalt crew was driving two new, smaller white dump trucks with one pulling a utility trailer carrying a Bobcat, roller and other asphalt equipment. One of the workers drove a newer black Ford crew cab pickup truck while another drove a white version of the same truck. Detectives believe the crew is operating under multiple business names.

Anyone with information should call 1-800-852-3970 or 1-812-867-2079.

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