SEAGRAVES, TX (KCBD) - Seagraves Police allege one man scammed more than a dozen residents out of nearly $50,000 and they’re asking anyone in the region who had dealings with him to come forward.
Casey Brock Harper, 42, moved to Seagraves last spring and opened Knucklehead’s garage. The business specialized in working mostly on vintage vehicles, but would work on newer models, too.
After the Seagraves Police Chief received dozens of calls about Harper taking money from people in his town and not providing the services, he looked deeper into the case.
Police believe Harper would take money from people and not work on their car. They said at times he would take parts from one customer’s car and use it in another’s. Some people never got their car back, according to police.
Police say they believe Harper has made a career out of this, scamming people across Texas and New Mexico for years. Officials say he may have taken money from residents in Jal and Hobbs, New Mexico, Crane, Kermit, Brownfield, Seagraves, Lubbock and now Bay City, Texas.
He recently moved to Bay City, Texas to open a new shop. Officials say in the past four months he has opened three shops in that area. Two of them were closed due to eviction or being kicked out of the space. There are reports of similar activity in the Bay City area.
This week he was arrested for a 1998 burglary charge after police learned he had a warrant out for his arrest. He is currently being held in Matagorda County Jail on the burglary charge, but officials say more charges could be pending.
Seagraves Chief of Police Brent Grundstrom is asking for anyone who has had dealings with Harper to come forward with information to help make their case against him.
“This is a very unique situation, I’ve only been here a couple years, but as far as I’ve heard and talked to other people, there’s never been such an impact by somebody’s crime spree,” Grundstrom said.
Grudstrom said the individual cases have been civil matter thus far, but if enough people come forward they might be able to show a pattern of fraud.
One man, Henry Griffin, said he has been scammed out of nearly $2,000 by Casey Harper.
Griffin said he went to Harper to get a new motor, who promised it would not take long.
“Every day I went up there he said we’re going to get you out tonight and he had that car in there over a year. It’s still in there now. I went down there and he said you forgot to pay me two hundred and fifty dollars before I start. I said okay, so I gave it to him, I had went to bingo and won it,” Griffin said.
Phillip Ellis is a Sales Associate at Parts Plus, a store across the street from Knucklehead’s Garage. Ellis said he has witnessed a lot of Harper’s activity.
Ellis said Harper ran a bill up a Parts Plus and did not pay it. Ellis took it to court.
“I’d like to see justice, I’d like to see him go to jail for it,” Ellis said.
You can contact the Seagraves Police Department at (806) 387-2551.