Crime

Seven SLO County contractors cited in undercover sting

Seven San Luis Obispo County contractors were cited Wednesday in Atascadero as part of a statewide sting to catch businesses operating without a license.

The seven men, residents from Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Avila Beach and Atascadero, responded to an undercover Contractors State License Board employee's request for proposal on work at a decoy home in Atascadero. Each was cited for contracting without a license and illegal advertising, both misdemeanors that each carry a $500 fine.

Officers from the California Department of Consumer Affairs also assisted in the operation, which statewide netted 97 people, some of whom are accused of more serious offenses such as failing to register as a sex offender; a number of them had warrants out for their arrest.

License Board Spokesman Steve Breen said Friday that the agency conducts three operations every year and this year chose Atascadero because of the high number of consumer complaints reported from San Luis Obispo County. Breen was not immediately able to provide a specific number of complaints.

All seven local residents are scheduled to appear in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Sept. 15.

Check the license

The Contractors State License Board urges consumers to make sure a contractor is licensed before hiring by going to https://www2.cslb.ca.gov/OnlineServices/CheckLicenseII/CheckLicense.aspx.

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