BROWNSBURG, Ind. (WISH) — Formal complaints from more than a dozen customers led to the arrest of a Brownsburg taxidermist.
Kevin McGrotty, 52, is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from customers and doing bad business.
Investigators said they began looking into the owner of Brownsburg Taxidermy about a year and a half ago after receiving complaints from 16 different customers.
All reported similar problems saying how they paid the owner to do taxidermy work, but he never completed the job.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Hendricks County Sheriff’s Office spent hours Tuesday morning searching Brownsburg Taxidermy, 9630 State Road 267, where they seized hides, mounts and antlers.
“I wasn’t surprise at all,” Brandon Ford said. “I actually have a buddy of mine that lives on the corner and he sent me a photo first thing this morning of DNR out there.”
Ford said to 24-Hour News 8 by phone he had several experiences with McGrotty.
“The last time I dropped something off was probably two and a half years ago, and it was my son’s first turkey that he shot,” he said.
Ford shared with 24-Hour News 8 a picture of his son and his first turkey. He said he’s still waiting to see the finished product from the owner.
“We tried numerous times reaching out to him as far as, you know, text messages, stopping by, phone calls, it was always something,” he said. “It was ‘I’m out of town,’ ‘I’m not going to be home now,’ something, you know, so it was a bad, bad deal.”
According to court documents, other customers reported the same problem with the owner. Customers told investigators they paid the deposit and would pay the remainder of the fee once the job was completed.
But no one could get a hold of the owner.
One customer said he called and texted the owner more than 100 times. Another customer said the owner told him to pay the remainder of the fee so he could be bumped up in line.
“I mean it’s definitely frustrating,” he said.
Ford said he lost $600 in total and knows he won’t ever see the money or his son’s turkey again.
“Just let him know, hey, you just got to be a man of your word, that’s what we all try to do, get up every day and do what we say we’re going to do,” he said. “I don’t have any ill will towards him.”
McGrotty is now charged with 16 counts of theft and one count of corrupt business practices.
Investigators said he had several hundred other hides, specimens and antlers still waiting to be worked on.
Investigators were sorting everything out and said they will notify customers once everything is done and available for pick up.