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Pinellas deputies go door-to-door at dawn to arrest unlicensed contractors

Pinellas deputies began pounding on doors at 5 a.m. Tuesday, part of a widespread roundup of contractors accused of working without licences and workers compensation.

The arrests of roofers, painters and others in the construction trades came two months after Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri started a pilot program –– the Construction Licensing Investigative Unit –– to help the floundering Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board crack down on unlicensed violators. He called it troubling and disturbing that the violators are collecting thousands of dollars from residents.

"They're thieves. They're scammers," Gualtieri said of the 20 suspects. "They're ripping people off."

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