Counterfeit Toolbox Worries Spreading - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/03/05

Counterfeit Toolbox Worries Spreading

Have you bought a toolbox from a man named Lance Ezell? If you have, you might want to check it out. Several government contractors bought counterfeits. Cornwell Tools officials were supposed to fly into Savannah today to meet with five government contractors to work on a solution.

While they try to solve one problem, we have learned Ezell also sold toolboxes made by S&K Tools, and one local mechanic thinks he may have been duped, too.

Last week, the news spread quickly to boat mechanic Robbie Aimerson. "I had a friend who used to work with me who watched your show and said, 'Lance was selling counterfeit toolboxes,'" Aimerson said. 

This past April, Aimerson bought a $5,000 toolbox from Ezell. It says S&K Professional Tools on it, but Aimerson searched the toolbox. "We couldn't find any serial numbers," Aimerson told us. "That's when I got suspicious."

He hoped to get answers from Ezell himself Wednesday morning, when Ezell makes his weekly stop. We brought our cameras along, hoping to catch a word with him ourselves, but he never showed up.

"I want him to tell the truth, is this real S&K or not?" Aimerson said. "I feel definitely I got ripped off."

The government contractors are having all sorts of problems. They have toolboxes without valid warranties, they're involved in the the police investigation, and don't even know what kind of toolboxes they really have.

Aimerson wants some answers, but isn't sure he wants to get stuck without a toolbox at all.

"After I watched your show, they wanted to confiscate their toolboxes, I said, 'I can't call the police. I need this toolbox to do my job,'" Aimerson said. "They take my box, my tools will be on the floor."

This was our third attempt at contacting Lance Ezell and getting a comment.

We did finally speak to S&K Tools spokesman Len O'Connel. He says Aimerson is the fourth person to file a complaint with S&K about possibly buying a counterfeit toolbox from Ezell. They are investigating each claim and consulting with attorneys and police.

As for the contractors who bought bogus Cornwell toolboxes, they tell us their meeting with Cornwell reps did not happen today.

Reported by: Don Logana, dlogana@wtoc.com

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