Area businessman known for TV ads now wanted by the law
GRESHAM, Ore. - Robert Swain boasted in his TV commercials for Robert's Roofing Service that he started the business with "$800 and a beat-up truck." And his company's website says he started by going door to door.
But all the signs at his Gresham office are now gone. And he's wanted on five felony charges by local police and also has a lengthy criminal history.
Not only does he have a checkered criminal past, but he also owes money to some former customers.
Additionally, he didn't appear in a Clackamas County court last month to face drug and gun charges. He was arrested on felony possession and distribution of marijuana and cocaine, and a new gun charge in April - a month after his business likely shut down.
He's now wanted for not showing up to that hearing.
Swain's trouble with police goes back to 1984.
His criminal history shows arrests for attempting to evade police, drug possession, driving under the influence and a list of traffic violations. He's done probation and some time.
State records show his wife, Renee, is actually the owner. She's listed as its president. But she and Robert are getting divorced.
Neither of them showed up in Multnomah County court Wednesday for a hearing.
She has a restraining order against him. And if he would have showed up, he'd have been locked up.
As for the building that used to house Swain's business, it now sits empty, except for some roofing samples on the wall.
A notice shows Swain got evicted in March.
According to the state, his business is still registered but he owes $19,000 to former customers for work disputes and four people have filed complaints with the Department of Justice.
Swain's criminal defense attorney, David Celuch, said by phone that he can't comment on Swain's whereabouts or about his failure to appear in court.
Court records also show a second woman has also taken out a restraining order against him.
According to the Better Business Bureau, Robert's Roofing has an "F" rating. The BBB says that grade is based on 16 factors, including three complaints about guarantee and warranty issues and three complaints involving problems with a product or service.
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