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People say handyman first gave excuses for unfinished work, then stopped answering phone

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Several people say they want to warn the public about a so-called phony handyman. FOX  4 heard from people who say they gave Gary Keesler hundreds of dollars, but he never returned to do the work.

They say they got nothing but excuses from Keesler and then they say he simply stopped answering his phone.

Justin Adrian thought he'd be well on his way to the basement of his dreams by now. Instead he's left with exposed wires, unfinished walls, and a headache.

"It's very frustrating because everyone's busy. All of the contractors that are reliable, they're months out," said Adrian.

That's why he was excited when he heard Keesler, of Freedom Home, was available.

"He spent about 20 minutes downstairs measuring and giving me what I thought was great advice on how to fix things," said Adrian.

He said Keesler gave him a contract, and that he gave Keesler $300 in cash, and a $300 check expecting Keesler to get to work right away.

That was Friday, May 1. So far, Adrian says Keesler hasn't shown up to do any of the work. During their meeting Friday, Adrian took a picture of Keesler’s state ID card.

He turns out to be the same Gary Keesler who's due in court Wednesday, May 6 for an alleged Craigslist scam of a different kind.

Keesler is accused of using a phony check to pay for a car he found on Craigslist. He's now been charged with stealing a motor vehicle and forgery.

It's troubling news to Adrian, who isn't the only person claiming to have paid Keesler for work he didn't do.

In an email, a woman named Jenny said that Keesler scammed her out of $800. A man named Michael responded on Facebook saying he finally got Keesler to repay him, after contacting police, but it took at least a month.

Adrian said he was able to get his $300 check back from Keesler, but continues to call him about the $300 cash.

FOX 4 called and knocked on several doors looking for Keesler. No one we spoke to seems to know where he is. We also left a message on the phone number Adrian says he was given.

Adrian said he reached out to police about Keesler, and said he was told they couldn't help him because it was a civil matter.

FOX 4's call to that police department wasn't returned.