Police investigating suburban contractor after customers complain about work — and lack thereof

WGN Investigates

WILL COUNTY, Ill. — The claims are mounting against a contractor accused of accepting customers’ cash and not completing projects or performing shoddy work.

WGN Investigates has learned the Will County Sheriff’s office and Shorewood Police are both conducting separate criminal investigations into the claims against Express Kitchen and Bath.

State records identify William Vranicar as president of the Frankfort-based company.

Craig and Donna Theimer are among the complainants. They filed a report with Shorewood Police after a dispute with Express over an unfinished bathroom remodeling project.

They said they paid Express $17,000 with another $6,000 due upon completion. But they claim there were problems with the workmanship and cited issues with the shower, electrical and tile.

They met with Vranicar to tell him about the alleged issues.

And that’s when they say things got ugly.

“[He] kicked us out of the business,” Donna Theimer said.

The couple asked for their money back. They said Vranicar refused and that’s when they called police. 

WGN Investigates spoke with others who have similar claims against Express, including Marianne Martinez. She paid Express $24,000 to remodel her kitchen. She said the project was never completed nor would Vranicar give her a refund. 

“I don’t believe I’ll ever get my money back,” she said.

Martinez filed a complaint with Will County. That is now under investigation.

But she and the Theimers haven’t stopped there. They are among a group who have protested outside Vranicar’s business.

Vranicar declined to do a sit-down interview with WGN News but spoke briefly outside his business now operating under a different name.

“I understand this is good TV but we are doing what we can to take care of our customers,” he said.

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