STOCKPORT, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A local mechanic is behind bars after he’s accused of scheming to defraud loyal customers.
Richard Dick, 41, is charged with first-degree scheme to defraud.
New York State Police began investigating the Factory Tire Shop after one complaint but found there may be more victims.
At his arraignment, the judge sent him to jail without bail.
The local mechanic is accused of stealing at least $10,000 from loyal customers.
Dick once helped run the Factory Tire Shop in Stockport.
“It’s sad. I mean these are local people,” Christine Ebel, of Stockport, said.
State Police say numerous victims paid for work that never got done or bought merchandise they never received.
Authorities believe Richard’s alleged scheming dates back to 2013, which is disappointing to the small community.
“When somebody tells you that you need something done on your car, you assume that they are telling you the truth.”
There are red flags to look out for.
Richard Brown from Columbia Sales Corp., a registered motor vehicle repair shop in Stottville, discussed what it takes to build a rapport with customers that has lasted 30 years and counting.
“They keep in touch with the customer, they show them their old damaged parts that they took off so you can see that they were really replaced. This way the customer gets a better relationship with you and knows that you did an honest job,” Brown said.
He says a small deposit for parts is normal, but steer clear from shops that ask for payments in full.
Richard Dick’s alleged scheme goes beyond Columbia County. Police believe there are more victims who may have been swindled out of cash.
Stockport Town Supervisor Matt Murell encourages his community to speak up.
“I do feel that if anybody was disadvantaged by this individual that they should come forward and tell the authorities so that they could try to get some type of restitution or their money back,” Murell said.
State Police ask anyone with information to give them a call.