A man who allegedly scammed a Maine homeowner by failing to provide solar panels has been arrested in New Jersey.

How Did the Scam Work?

The York County Sheriff's Office was first alerted in October of 2022 that a local resident believed they had been scammed. The homeowner told authorities that they allegedly paid a man $33,000 for solar panels that were to be installed at his Waterboro home. Officials say the Maine resident paid the man the money, but the solar panels were never delivered or installed. In addition, Robert Nigra stopped all communication with the victim.

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What Charges Does the Suspect Face?

Investigators began to look into Robert Nigra, 45, of Manchester, New Hampshire and learned that he had provided the victim with a false address. In addition, investigators determined that he had never ordered or paid for any solar panels. As a result of that investigation, Nigra was indicted for felony theft by deception on March 6, 2023. When he failed to answer the Grand Jury Subpoena, a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Police finally caught up to Nigra on June 16, 2023 in New Jersey. Detectives with the Berkeley Township Police Department took him into custody and transported him to the Ocean County House of Corrections in Toms River. Nigra will be extradited to Maine at a later date.

Are There Any Resources To Help Protect Myself from Scams?

The Maine Attorney General's Office has a list of common scams that residents have encountered. In addition, they offer tips on protecting yourself from falling victim to a scam. One thing they caution, with home repair/improvement scams, is to beware of anyone who seems in a hurry to get paid before the work is done or who is offering a price 'for a limited time.' It's important for people to do some research on the background of any contractor they're looking to hire. Efficiency Maine keeps a list of certified reliable contractors on their website, which is a good place to start when looking to have work done around the house.

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