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Diligent detective helps woman recover $425 from contractor

Pictured (l-r) are Ryan Devereux, CAC vice chair; Det. Maurice Dutoit, and Maj. Delma Noel-Pratt, Miami-Dade Police Kendall District.

While police aren’t usually called to resolve a consumer complaint, a Kendall officer won special honors for doing just that job.

It all began in advance of the hurricane season when a Kendall woman called a contractor to install shutters on her garage. The woman, who wrote out a check for $425 requested by the contractor, told Miami- Dade Police Det. Maurice Dutoit that it was cashed the same date it was written.

Her problem: as of July 3, she had not seen the contractor again, nor any materials he had claimed were needed to do the job.

A key to finding him was getting a phone number from an acquaintance that wound up a “lengthy investigation” to identify the missing contractor, according to Barry White, chair of the Miami-Dade Police Kendall District Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC).

Not only did Det. Dutoit locate and contact the contractor, but he convinced him to return the missing $425 which the detective was then able to present in person to the distraught homeowner.

Commended for his alertness and expeditious investigative skills, Det. Dutoit was awarded a citation as Officer of the Month for July by Ryan Devereux, CAC vice chair, pinch-hitting for White at an Aug. 29 CAC meeting.

Police warn homeowners to protect themselves by a thorough confirmation of credentials of any contractor or salesperson before handing over cash or a check.

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