Handyman arrested after skipping out of state without finishing work

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(Photo: Douglas County Sheriff's Office)

(Photo: Douglas County Sheriff's Office)

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- A handyman who went on the run after being confronted by the FOX31 Problem Solvers was recently arrested in Arizona.

Douglas County sheriff deputies had 32-year-old Daniel Murphy brought back to Colorado to face a number of charges related to theft, plus one count of domestic violence.

Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said it was an investigation by the Problem Solvers in September that put Murphy on his department's radar.

It was revealed Murphy had an arrest warrant out of the county and was still operating as a handyman and plumber despite three cease and desist orders from Colorado's Department of Regulatory agencies.

"Looking at the other stories that you had done and looking at what this individual is continuing to do and get away with ... we put the resources together to go hunt him down and bring him back to Colorado," Spurlock said.

No one was happier about Murphy's arrest than his former customer Jessica Ippel.

"He had to be brought in. He wasn't going to turn himself in," she said.

She's owed more than $1,600 after Murphy took money up front but never came back to do any home repairs despite a signed contract.

"He doesn't want to take any responsibility for anything he does," said Ippel, who won a default judgment against Murphy when he failed to show up for small claims court in August.

Spurlock said Murphy made a verbal agreement with one of his detectives to turn himself in, but he skipped town instead.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office then put Murphy on its Facebook page.

"Social media is great," said Spurlock, who added his office soon got a tip that Murphy had moved to Arizona.

Now Murphy is back in Colorado facing charges in Douglas County, Littleton and Aurora while detectives continue to interview more victims.

"We probably have at least seven, maybe more that we know of for sure," Spurlock said.

Misdemeanor theft isn't legally a big enough crime to arrest someone out of state, but Spurlock said the domestic violence warrant allowed deputies to track down Murphy down.

Anyone who might have been scammed by Murphy is asked to call investigators at 303-660-7585.