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Ontario homeowner fighting back against alleged paving scam arrested

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A group of Mississauga homeowners hired a construction company with a reputable name, only to find out that it wasn’t the company they thought – setting into motion a series of bizarre events that ended with the arrest of a homeowner.

The apparent effort to impersonate Royal Town Construction was so good it produced slick business cards, a matching logo, and may have even tricked the police, customer Jun Shu told CTV News after he spent six hours in a jail cell.

“In my 62-year history, I didn’t have anything like this. I feel I was badly treated,” Shu, an engineer, said in an interview.

Shu said on May 14, a paving company knocked on his door and made an offer to his wife to replace their driveway. But while she was calling him to decide, the company began digging out a section.

A business card showed “Royal Town Construction Ltd” with a stylized roadway going through the “R” – just like the established Woodbridge-based Royal Town Construction. But when Shu and his neighbours called them to complain, they said they had no idea what he was talking about.

Royal Town Construction supervisor Kosta Alexopoulos told CTV News the company had been inundated with people complaining about work that wasn’t theirs.

“We weren’t there. We were in a parking lot in Brampton. We’re not even anywhere near – and then it clicked,” he said.

An apparent effort to impersonate Royal Town Construction's business cards with a matching logo.

Alexopoulos and others from Royal Town Construction rushed down to find a group of people paving driveways in Mississauga. A video recorded then shows them silently scattering as Alexopoulos and the others approached.

“They left machines, equipment behind, and just took off,” Alexopoulos said.

Shu said he called Peel Regional Police as well, and officers told him they started a fraud investigation. Mississauga crews cleaned up the debris that had been left in the roadway.

The group had left behind a sit-on pavement roller on the street, and Shu put it in his garage, thinking it could be an asset he could use as collateral to pay to re-pave his driveway.

A few days later, different officers returned, asking about that roller. A neighbour’s surveillance camera shows them looking around the property.

Shu told them he wanted to hold on to it. But he was confused, he said, because, “Those two officers didn’t know anything about the fraud case.”

The next time the officers returned, with someone from the paving company, they demanded the roller back, and arrested Shu for possession of stolen property. A video shows two officers bringing him to the police car while his wife is trying to figure out what is happening.

Royal Town Construction supervisor Kosta Alexopoulous said the company was inundated with complaints about work that wasn't theirs. Shu says he spent six hours in jail, and eventually agreed to return the roller. The neighbour’s video camera shows the police standing by as the roller is loaded onto a flatbed truck.

“This is the first time I’ve ever dealt with police in handcuffs,” Shu said. He said he was kept in a cold cell, officers ignored his health concerns, and put pressure on him to return equipment of someone he felt had taken advantage of him.

A Peel Regional Police spokesperson said they are looking into what happened between the two files, but confirmed that the complainant was a paving company.

“At the end of May 2024, police were contacted by a paving company concerned that a customer was withholding a piece of equipment. Typically, disputes between companies and customers are civil matters, and police do not normally intervene. In this case, the customer refused to return the item,” he said.

“Although the homeowner was provided ample opportunity to return the equipment, he was eventually arrested for possession of stolen property. The homeowner was interviewed by investigators and further educated about the pending charge. The homeowner eventually agreed to return the equipment to the paving company and was subsequently released without any charge,” he said.

The status of the investigation into the company is unclear. The phone number listed on the other company’s business card didn’t connect when CTV News tried calling it on Tuesday.

Alexopoulos says the real Royal Town Construction doesn’t typically use rollers that small. At a job site in Brampton, the company was using large dump trucks and earth movers.

He says he believes the other company chose to impersonate his because it has a good reputation.

“You’ve got to hand it to them. They’re smart. They’re going to use one of the best names in the business to get the work,” he said.

He wants customers to be wary and if anyone shows up claiming to be “Royal Town Construction” to call their office before agreeing to anything.

As for Shu, he is planning to get his driveway fixed – this time, by the real Royal Town Construction. 

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