A man posing as a licensed contractor has been arrested for burglary and theft, the Kern County District Attorney's Office announced Monday.
On Friday, Lamberto Montano, AKA Albert Montano Lopez, AKA Albert M. Lopez was arrested for first degree burglary, theft by false pretenses, second degree burglary, grand theft, contracting without a license, charging an excessive down payment, no workers compensation insurance and petty theft.
The investigation revealed Montano routinely posted advertisements under the business name, "New Renovations" for granite and cabinet work in multiple Facebook groups, including Connected, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist in both English and Spanish.
According to victims and witnesses, Montano has represented himself as a licensed contractor, a granite and cabinet store owner and an overall handyman. The D.A.'s Office says Montano requested excessive down payments up front for materials and then either did not finish the work or did not show up at all.
Anyone who believes they were defrauded by Montano should call 661-868-5859. The D.A.'s Office released the following tips when it comes to hiring an individual to work around your home:
- Use a licensed contractor otherwise you have little recourse when things go wrong.
- In California, all home improvement jobs totaling $500 or more in combined labor and material costs must be performed by a licensed contractor.
- Verify the person's license through the Contractor's State Licensing Board at ChecktheLicenseFirst.com or 1.800.321.CSLB.
- Verify the contractor has workers' compensation insurance because if they don't and their employee is injured, you could potentially be liable.
- A down payment cannot exceed $1000.00 or 10% of the contract amount, whichever is less.