SOUTH ST. LOUIS ( -- A South County woman said a local tree guy took her money and disappeared.

Jen Engel said she paid Gary Dunn $600 to cut down a large oak tree, but said “he took the check and cashed it, and haven’t seen him since.”

Engel said she paid Dunn in March but she has not been able to reach him for months.

She filed a police report with St. Louis County.

Engel said Dunn asked for several bags of charitable donations that were sitting on her front porch the day he took the check.

“He took all those bags for charity,” she said. “He took our money and didn’t do the job. He took our stuff we were going to give to the children’s home.”

Dunn left a copy of his insurance card with Engel.

According to the Missouri Department of Insurance, contractors generally carry insurance for liability or damage they might cause to your home.

Angela Nelson told News 4, “Unfortunately I’m not aware of any insurance coverage that you can make a claim where you can get back a deposit or get money back for work that’s not actually performed.”

According to court records, Dunn was sued for rent at his Hillsboro address earlier this year.

A default judgment in the amount of $2,000 was entered against Dunn.

According to the St. Louis County Prosecutor’s office, Dunn is also facing an active felony arrest warrant.

He is charged with felony stealing involving another St. Louis County couple unrelated to Engel.

Dunn was also charged with theft in Jefferson County in 2017.

A court appearance is scheduled for January.

In 2017, another couple also sued Dunn and won a judgment for more than $1,300.

News 4 made numerous attempts to reach Dunn by phone, but never received a call back.

Investigative Reporter Chris Nagus also attempted to reach Dunn at the Hillsboro address where Dunn was sued for rent.

The entrance to the property is clearly marked with a sign that says “No Trespassing”

The sign also says “You quite possibly could get shot or hurt and then try to sue resulting in a long drawn out court battle. You will lose because this sign will be exhibit A.”

Engel is hopeful Dunn will return her $600 deposit.

News 4 Investigates

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