Is it vandalism as well as theft if a landscaper stole $3300 deposit, destroyed our yard and disappeared? 18 Answers as of May 21, 2013A landscaper was given checks for $3,300 as a deposit to landscape our front yard. He came a few days later with a bobcat, destroyed our front yard, piled what once was our front lawn in the back driveway, destroyed a lamp post, cut an underground electric line and did some other minor damage. It has been almost three weeks and we have not seen or heard from him and he will not return our calls. Is this vandalism as well as theft? Can I recope my losses?
Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
It sounds like theft by fraud/deception to me. Talk to the police or county prosecutor to see if you have a case. It is possible that they will refuse to charge him with any crime, and you will have to hire a civil attorney and file a lawsuit for the damages and refund of the deposit. You should be able to get a civil judgment, but good luck in trying to collect it.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
Your question requires an attorney consultation. It is not a simple question that can be answered on this type of forum. There are many factors that would need to be considered and evaluated. I strongly suggest that you contact an experienced attorney for a face-to-face consultation and give him/her all of the facts surrounding your situation.
Answer Applies to: California
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
If you hired a landscaper who is not licensed or insured and you did not check with Better Business you may have a problem collecting. You can sue him in Small Claims Court or possible have him arrested if he committed a fraud or has done this to several people. That would be a "scheme to defraud" and the prosecutor can get restitution unless they are bankrupt or leave town.
Answer Applies to: New York
Walpole Law | Robert J. Walpole
Sorry to say but it is probably neither. You can file a police report but the officer may not take it because (s)he will say this is a civil matter. And it is that. You have a contract with that individual and he has apparently breached that contact as well as performed it haphazardly. You can recoup your loss by suing him. Contact a lawyer for more information how to proceed.
Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
This would be a breach of contract case, and you could sue for damages including the damage he did to the lawn, the pole and the electrical wires. However, if you cannot find him, you will not be able to sue him. You should file a police report regarding the theft (although the police may not be able to do anything about it) and also contact your state attorney general's office. It may be the case that he has done this to other homeowners as well.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
You can try to recoup your money damages by first contacting the police and/or ADA to file criminal charges. Once they get a conviction, then you can seek restitution in that same court/case or file a civil case to get a judgment against the vandal.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
First make a police report then report this to your Better Business Bureau, Angie's list etc. Check with the state to see if he is a licensed contractor, if he is complain to the state. If he is not that may be additional ground for action. You may also wish to sue him in a civil actions, such as small claims court.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
At the very least you should be able to recover your deposit and damages. The real problem may be in whether the landscaper is collectible. You may want to report this matter to the police as his taking the deposit and not doing the work may be criminal in nature.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Attorney at Law | Michael P. Vollandt
There may not be any crime. This could be a civil matter but I would make a police report and at least the DA can review it. I hoe you have homeowner insurance because they may cover the loss for all of it (less your deductible).
Answer Applies to: California
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
It is probably not vandalism, but it is probably theft. You hired a cheat to landscape for you. If he is prosecuted criminally, then you can request restitution, to be paid over the next three years. If you sue him in civil court, the judge will construct a similar payment plan. He cheated you, and has spent that money.
Answer Applies to: Georgia