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Camera catches hail contractor appearing to engage in unscrupulous behavior: “It’s just so brazen

By Brian Maass

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    Colorado (KCNC) — The sales manager for a Colorado construction company says he may have been “too aggressive” after a surveillance camera caught him appearing to fabricate hail damage during a recent damage inspection of a home in Parker.

David Kuntz, sales manager for Timberland Exteriors of Colorado, responded to a CBS News Colorado investigation of his conduct during the Aug. 22 damage inspection by acknowledging what was caught on tape, “just looks kind of bad.”

Witnesses say Kuntz was trying to drum up business in the Newlin Meadows neighborhood of Parker, offering to inspect homes for hail damage. He said he was unaware of a surveillance camera that was rolling as he inspected one home.

The tape shows Kuntz marking gutters, downspouts, and a garage with chalk so an insurance adjuster would know where the hail damage was. But when Kuntz is looking at the home’s aluminum garage door, he appears to repeatedly use some sort of tool or implement to create dents on the garage door.

He then circles those dents with chalk, suggesting they were caused by hail.

CBS News Colorado met with Kuntz to show him the videotape. Initially, he said it was “hard to say” if it was him on the tape. “Could be, I don’t know,” said Kuntz. But after a few minutes, he acknowledged it was him.

“That doesn’t look right,” said Kuntz. “I don’t know what I was doing there. It doesn’t look awesome.”

He went on to say, “looks like I was pushing in.. shouldn’t have been doing that.” He said he is “trying to be Robin Hood all the time. I’m trying to get them(homeowners)money. There I am trying to help these dumb M-Fers and it obviously backfired. In that situation, I was probably trying too hard to help them out. Maybe I get too aggressive,” he said. “Pushing too hard to make it look right so they could get their money. Bottom line,” said Kuntz. “Is most of these customers can’t afford Colorado anymore. This extra stuff helps them pay their deductible because they’re ripped off in their policies.”

The owners of the home asked that they not be identified. But they said after seeing the video of what Kuntz had done, they decided not to pursue an insurance claim for hail damage on their home.

In a second interview, Kuntz said “it was unprofessional,” but he denied intentionally creating damage. “So I’m pushing in trying to feel for the hail dents, trying to see if it’s insulated or not.” Asked if he used a tool on the garage door Kuntz said he did not, claiming he only used his thumb. However, the surveillance videotape appears to show him pulling a metallic tool out of his bag and repeatedly using it on the garage door.

Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, an industry trade group, watched the video and said, “it’s obvious he’s creating damage that wasn’t there to profit from it. It’s just so blatant and brazen of an act.”

And she called Kuntz’s claims that he was acting like Robin Hood by exaggerating the damage untrue. “He’s not helping anyone. He’s helping himself to more profits. We all pay for that through higher insurance premiums,” said Walker. She said what she saw on video suggested to her, “this isn’t his first rodeo doing this.” Kuntz told CBS News Colorado he could not recall if he had ever done anything like this before.

Timberland Exteriors of Colorado has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and online reviews of the company are generally positive.

Brent Blankenburg, listed as the company owner, did not respond to calls and text messages from CBS News Colorado.

Documents on file in Douglas County show that the company has obtained permits and repaired or replaced dozens of rooves around Parker this summer.

The insurance industry says in the last 10 years, hailstorms have caused $5 billion in damage in Colorado. The industry says in a recent three-year period, questionable hail claims nationwide rose 34%.

Walker said there were a lot of legitimate hail claims made in Colorado this summer. “Legitimate hail damage is what Mother Nature created, not what that gentleman created,” said Walker.

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