A smooth-talking serial swindler who poses as a licensed contractor is back in custody after allegedly duping two elderly people into giving him thousands.
"I’m ecstatic," said Mick Ferreira, who says he launched a personal crusade against Alexander Nebre after Nebre cheated him in March. "I knew he was ripping other people off."
Police arrested Nebre, 47, at the main station at 6 p.m. Friday on suspicion of second-degree theft. He remained in custody Saturday awaiting charges.
Police said Nebre, of Makiki, committed his latest fraud while out on bond for allegedly defrauding other people with the same scam.
In his latest swindle, from March 27 to Thursday, Nebre took more than $5,000 from a 70-year-old woman and an 83-year-old man in Kaimuki, police said.
Nebre took the money as payment for general contracting work, but never finished the job, police said.
One of the alleged victims declined to comment when reached by phone Saturday.
In June 2013, a state circuit judge ordered Nebre to stop engaging in the business of a contractor until he obtains a license and ordered him to pay $204,566 in restitution to four victims, according to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. The judge also fined him $88,980.
The ruling came after five complaints of unlicensed activity from 2010 to 2011, including three involving elderly clients.
Nebre, who uses the business name Al’s Construction, has one pending complaint on his record. No information is available on that complaint, which was filed this year. An online search shows numerous complaints about Nebre allegedly scamming homeowners by leaving work unfinished and asking for more money for supplies.
Ferreira, a former sheriff deputy in California, said he met Nebre while working at an auto parts store in town where Nebre was a regular. Nebre would go behind the counter, greet everyone and build up trust, Ferreira said.
"He’s real polished, real smooth, talked a big deal," Ferreira said. "He asked me if there’s anything I needed done around my house. And he talked real fast."
In March, Ferreira said, he gave Nebre $500 to fix his transmission. But he said he never saw Nebre again. The last time Ferreira spoke with him, before Nebre changed his phone number, Nebre said he just had his wisdom teeth pulled and was too medicated to do the work.
Ferreira filed a second-degree theft complaint with police about a week later.
Since then, Ferreira took his complaint online hoping to gather information against Nebre and get him arrested. He received responses from two other alleged victims, including one man who said Nebre filed a temporary restraining order against him.
Police said two previous cases against Nebre involve the same type of scam with several victims and possibly tens of thousands of dollars in theft.
In the first case, Nebre was charged with one count of second-degree theft and posted $40,000 bond in February, court records said.
Nebre was charged with six counts of second-degree theft in the second case and posted $75,000 bond in April, the documents said.
Nebre’s jury trial in both cases is set for September.