Problem Solved: Volunteer contractors install roof for woman allegedly defrauded

CALHOUN COUNTY, Mich. — It's a problem solved for Lynda Smith who paid $4,000 to a 'contractor' named Brandon Jacox in early March. He owns BC Remodel and Roofing. She said the Battle Creek man cashed her check for a roof job but never returned.

After the original Problem Solvers story aired, Smith said many people reached out to her with horror stories regarding Brandon Jacox.

"I'd say I'm at about seven people who contacted me with similar stories that he's unfortunately taken advantage of," she said.

By telling her story and shining a light on Brandon Jacox, reputable contractors came out the woodwork.

"Just a bad situation ended up having a hidden blessing for myself," Smith said.

Smith and the FOX 17 Problem Solvers heard from home improvement companies looking to volunteer their time, labor, and expertise.

Shaun Roach, with Roach Home Improvement said, "My wife was watching it on the news, and she come to me and said she went to school with Lynda and thought that we should help her out and put a new roof on her house."

He added, "It's a good thing to do. A lot of people always see the bad things out here and never see the good."

Fellow Battle Creek contractor Don Schmidke of Schmidke Builders stepped up with his crew as well to fill a need.

Schmidke said, "I was raised... your word and a handshake was what you gave to someone, and that's what you went on. Doesn't seem to be the case as much more these days."

"God works in mysterious ways, and he brought two businesses and 20 people together to take what was a sad story and made it something great in the end," he added.

Roach said Certainteed donated half the materials, and one of his employees got the Pennfield High School wrestling team to help with cleanup. It's more than Smith said she ever imagined when reaching out to the FOX 17 Problem Solvers.

Smith said, "Without you none of this would have been possible. So thank you."

She said if she ever gets the money back, she wants to repay these men for their work.

According to records online, Brandon Jacox was arrested after we ran the story on an unrelated situation. The Problem Solvers did try to reach out to him on that original piece, and he told us the weather was holding him up and that his bank account was frozen.

FOX 17 did some checking and couldn’t find a contractor's license for him. The Better Business Bureau always suggests you make sure a contractor is licensed, bonded and insured, check references, and never pay in full upfront.

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7 comments

  • steve

    “Allegedly defrauded”? Hey, FOX17, you’ve got an adverb problem. There’s no debating here. The woman got screwed out of $4,000.

    • Darren Cunningham

      Mr. Thomas, Brandon Jacox has not been convicted in this case. He hasn’t even been charged. Cases like this come down to ‘intent’. I’m not a judge or jury. But I’m a journalist. So I must use ‘allegedly’ or the like. However, I think most people will draw their own conclusion as you have.

      • steve

        Mr. Cunningham. The guy took her money in exchange for services which she never received, period. Whether he intended to screw her or not doesn’t matter. Her only recourse was to demand her money back for the roof job, but she didn’t receive it That’s fraud.

        • fappyhuzzy

          Listen, Steve. This is how ALL news agencies report on crimes. Have you ever seen the news before?
          Take a listen. Watch any national news and you’ll hear ALL of them use “allegedly” on a daily basis. It’s to protect news agencies and reporters from being sued. It’s common practice. Stop being angry at a wonderful reporter who goes out of his way to help people. Look what his story did! He should be commended, not harrassed by someone who is ignorant of libel/slander laws in the world of reporting. Egads.
          Here ya go, Steve Thomas.
          http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-437541.html

          • steve

            If you were Lynda Smith, you’d say “allegedly” is laughable. Go play word games if you want. I prefer to be pragmatic in my word selection.

          • Darren Cunningham

            Fappyhuzzy, thank you for your understanding of this, having my back and for recognizing my efforts.