Two Arrested in Fort Myers, Fla., for Allegedly "Peddling" Auto Glass Work Without a License

April 19, 2010

Two males were arrested last week in Fort Myers, Fla., last Thursday for allegedly "peddling" windshield replacement services without a license. Edward Albert Grano, 25, and Justin T. Herrero, 24, of Tag Promotions are said to have been "going door to door selling windshields" on the evening of April 15 in the area of Fordham Street in Fort Myers when the Lee County, Fla., Sheriff's Office received a call about them, according to police reports.

A sheriff's deputy went to the area and confronted both Grano and Herrero, and they allegedly advised him "they were selling windshields," according to police reports. The officer then asked them if they had a license "to peddle" in Lee County, and Grano allegedly advised the officer, Deputy Donavon Kamauff, that he did not have the license and thought his boss might have it in the office.

A second deputy then went to Tag's office in Fort Myers and spoke with company representative Matthew Grunske, "who advised he did not have a permit for the sale of goods in Lee County," according to police reports.

"Matthew [Grunske] stated he was rejected 15 times for the county permit," continues the police report.

According to the report, Kamauff went on to ask both Grano and Herrero "how they were selling windshields."

"Edward [Grano] stated that he helps people call their insurance compan[ies] to replace their windshields, [and], in turn, a company which Tag Promotions works for gets the job to replace the windshield," continues the report.

According to the police report, the two are charged with violating the county's law addressing "hawkers" and "peddlers;" the law requires a permit for such activities.

"Edward [Grano] and Justin [Herrero] were going door-to-door peddling the service of a new windshield through a third-party company, Tag Promotion, without the proper permits, therefore violating a county ordinance," continues the report. "They would help people call their insurance company, so that an insurance claim would be made to replace their windshield. Then in turn a company that pays Tag Promotions gets paid by the insurance company to come out and replace the windshield."

The auto glass company with whom Tag was working is not identified in the police report, but Grano advised™/AGRR magazine in an exclusive interview that the company for which he was booking work was Coast to Coast Auto Glass.

Grano said that his main job is to book work for the company, but that he doesn't actually do any repair or replacement work.

"We book the jobs, but there are people who go get trained," he said.

Tag representative Grunske advised magazine that, on the day of the arrests, Grano and Herrero had gone out to a customer's home to do a pre-inspection and then had checked with some other local residents to see if they needed work while on-site.

"We had an appointment with someone on the street there … but then the manager took it upon himself to go to a few houses on the left or right to see if anyone had issues," said Grunske. " … We've got mobile units for convenience. They do an inspection and [find out] [if it] should it be a repair or a replacement. [They] make sure everything is in order."

Grunske added that the company does not usually send its representatives door-to-door, and, for that reason, hadn't thought the "peddler" permit was necessary.

"We've got all of our licenses to be doing business," he said, "and we don't typically do door-to-door [work]."

Grunske could not confirm that the company for which Grano and Herrero were booking the work was for Coast to Coast, and said that Tag books work for "several different companies."

"It's just a little easier [for Tag employees] to do what they're good at and to let the glass guys do what they're good at," he said. magazine spoke with Rhonda Jacobson, who is listed as the public relations contact for Coast to Coast on the company's website, this afternoon, but she denied that the two companies are related.

"Tag Promotions does not work for Coast to Coast," she said.

Jacobson then advised that Jigna Patel, who is associated with TKB Marketing, is the official Coast to Coast spokesperson and should be contacted for further comment. TKB Marketing purchased the company last October. Efforts to reach Patel have been unsuccessful. (CLICK HERE for related story about TKB's purchase of the company.)

Both Grano and Herrero were taken into custody last Thursday, but were released on bail early the next morning. Their arraignment is scheduled for May 4 at 8 a.m.

Grunske added that both are back to work and have Tag's support.

Need more info and analysis about the issues?
CLICK HERE to subscribe to AGRR magazine.