Local couple fights back when contractor takes their money and gives them the runaround for a year

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ARAB, Ala. - We recently received an email from an older couple in Arab who said a roofer walked off with $1,400 -- over a year ago -- and never came back to do the work. We're not going to let that stand.

The Griffins have all their paperwork from their deal with Westbrook Construction. They wanted a metal roof over a workspace. Mrs. Griffin does quilting upstairs and Mr. Griffin works on projects downstairs.

"The contract was signed on December 30, 2015 and the total was $2,730," said Sammy Griffin.

They wrote Chris Westbrook a check for $1,400 to buy supplies, which a slip shows he immediately cashed. He never came back to do the work, though.

The Griffins say Westbrook has a reputation for fine work, and they're not sure why he picked them to take the money and run.

"I don't know, maybe because I'm 81 years old. I don't know," said Sammy.

They do know they don't want to mess with him anymore. "I'd rather have my money back. I'd rather they not even show up out here," Sammy added.

The Griffins have been more patient than anyone deserves, calling and asking and reporting to the Better Business Bureau. WHNT News 19 contacted Westbrook. We said we had seen the contract, the agreement and the check he got. The roof isn't metal, and we urged him to give the money back.

"That's what I'm gonna do," Westbrook said on the phone.

"You're going to refund the money?" we asked.

"Yes," Westbrook replied.

"I've been in business for 25 years, and this ain't me," Westbrook insisted. He says the mess stems from a job that left him thousands short. He volunteered some other information.

"It wasn't just them. It was three people that this happened to with me. Three different people. And I've got two of them covered," Westbrook said.

WHNT News 19 can confirm at least one of those cases, because Westbrook got arrested for theft. The judge dismissed the case when Westbrook paid back the $3,000 he took.

"Just to be honest with you, I was robbing Peter to pay Paul to try to keep afloat for that month and a half, so I could get my money," Westbrook told us on the phone.

Westbrook insisted he would return and pay the Griffins back after he got paid for his next job.

"I can fix this, and I will bring Mr. and Mrs. Griffin every dollar of their money back," he told us.

We are happy to report he did just that. After we got involved and told Mr. Westbrook we intended to hold him accountable, he did the right thing and paid the Griffins back all $1,400.

All told, the dilemma with the Griffins lasted over a year, but within two weeks of our interview, Westbrook gave them a full refund.

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