Notorious Craigslist contractor Gary Keesler busted for car theft, forgery

MISSION, Kan. - Gary Keesler, a Craigslist contractor whose main job appears to be taking money from his clients and then pulling a disappearing act is back and in trouble with the law.

Since 2010, several viewers have contacted Call for Action after hiring Keesler from his Craigslist ad.  He uses phrases like “HANDYMAN SERVICE-Guaranteed LOWEST price home repairs”.

Derek Fricke of Mission, Kan., hired him in March, paying him $2,000 to build a backyard privacy fence.  Fricke tried several times to reach Keesler by phone. But when he did get a hold of him, Fricke said he heard excuses.

“I called him and he said that he had set his house on fire and that he was not going to be able to make it until later that day but he would make it at all attempts," Fricke said.

He then Googled Keesler’s name to discover a previous Call for Action report exposing him for doing a similar thing to a Northland woman in 2010 and an Independence couple in 2012.

Victims try to report Keesler to police but are told there is nothing authorities can do since it’s a civil matter.

But in recent months, Keesler has found himself in trouble with the law.

"I called the police," Sherri Johnson said.  

The Blue Springs mother advertised her son’s pickup on Craigslist.  Keesler answered the ad and wanted to buy it.   Johnson said he showed up, wrote a check from a bogus business account and used a fake ID. Johnson reported it to police.

"Since it was a fake account and a fake business, that it would be a police matter because it's fraud," she said. “It's frustrating to know that he's out there doing this to other people.”

Blue Springs police arrested and charged Keesler with stealing a motor vehicle and forgery. He has bonded out of jail.  His ads still continue to appear on Craigslist.

Before hiring anyone to do home improvement projects, it is a good idea to do a quick check into their work history and background.  Search sites like Missouri Casenet and the Better Business Bureau.

Ask the contractor for a list of recent clients and contact them to find out if they are satisfied with their work.

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