St. Charles police seeking scamming contractor

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 22, 2009



HAHNVILLE – Authorities in St. Charles Parish are looking for a New Orleans area contractor who allegedly scammed a St. Rose couple out of money for home renovations, according to a release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Capt. Pat Yoes, public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office, said a warrant was issued last week for the arrest of Garlon D. Batiste, 46, for felony theft of over $500. Batiste’s last known address is 1121 Crete St., New Orleans.

According to the release, Batiste spread leaflets throughout St. Rose in August advertising the contracting services of a company known as Renovate International. When the couple responded to the advertisement, a representative showed up at their home and quoted a price of $40,000 for renovation work.

The release states the couple paid the representative, later identified as Batiste, a $3,000 down payment for the work. No work was done, and the couple has not seen or heard from Batiste since.

A press release sent out Monday included a picture, taken by the couple with a camera phone, of the representative who came to their home. Sheriff Greg Champagne said “overwhelming response” to the photo and request for identification assistance helped detectives identify Batiste as the suspect.

Anyone with any information that could aid authorities in locating Batiste is asked to contact St. Charles Sheriff’s Detective Derek Pertuis at 783-1135 or 783-6807. Detectives believe there are more victims and are asking anyone who believes they have been victimized to contact the Sheriff’s Office.