Countertop contractor wanted by police, warrants out for his arrest

An ABC7 I-Team Investigation
CHICAGO (WLS) -- The ABC7 I-Team has learned a man who collected money to remodel kitchens now has two warrants out for his arrest.

On the phone the owner blamed the remodeling delays on his mother's health problems, and said he was trying to pay customers back. However, authorities in two counties said those words are not enough and want the owner of Take Me for Granite behind bars.

Leah Doperalski paid $3,600 cash for granite countertops to be installed in the kitchen and bathrooms of her Racine, Wisconsin, home. She hired Mijodrag "Mickey" Ostojic who owns Take Me for Granite in Chicago, because she used him in 2011 and was happy with the results.

"He said he would do it one of the first two Saturdays of January," Doperalski said.

But she said that date came and went.

"He pushed it and pushed it and pushed it and finally wasn't giving me dates or answering me. So I started looking up his name on the Better Business Bureau with negative hits and giving kind of the same run around I was getting. So I was concerned," she said.

One of those complaints came from Barbara and Mike Gallagher of Lockport, Illinois, who gave Ostojic a check for $3,200 for quartz countertops for their kitchen rehab. The ABC 7 I-Team reported their story in February because Ostojic didn't do the job.

"We knew we were taken," Barbara said.

"I reached out to ABC 7 News and said 'you know, it's not just them who were affected, he also stole money from me,'" said Doperalski.

The Gallaghers filed a police report, as did Doperalski. Tonight, there are two warrants out for Ostojic's arrest, one in Will County for two counts of home repair fraud, each more than $1,000. There is also a warrant in Racine County, Wisconsin for theft of $2,500.

The Better Business Bureau gives Take Me for Granite an F rating with six complaints.

Ostojic wasn't home when the I-Team visited him in Old Irving Park, but by phone, in February , he said he was not taking new jobs and blamed the delays on his 90-year-old mother's "health problems." He said he was trying to get a loan to pay customers back in full, "within the next month."

"I want to say to him, you need to wake up, come clean, and do what you have to do. Pay back our money," said Mark Gallagher.

The Gallaghers ended up paying a different contractor to install the quartz in their kitchen. Doperalski says she also paid more money to hire another contractor for her countertops.

"I want my $3,600 back," Doperalski said.

The I-Team called the business owner of Take Me for Granite again, and his attorney called back saying there was no comment.

Some contractors don't want to pay the cost of accepting credit cards but experts say you should always try to use a credit card, even if there is a fee. It's almost like added insurance in case you need to file a dispute.

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