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Window Gallery owner recently arrested, accused of swindling customers

By: Bill Melugin 

EL PASO, Texas -- The owner of an east El Paso window business is once again being accused of stealing thousands of dollars from his own customers, and KFOX14 has learned more about his criminal history.

As KFOX14 has previously reported, several people have reached out to the station and accused Terry Lee Hewlen, the owner of The Window Gallery, of taking their down payments, often consisting of thousands of dollars, and never completing the work they paid him for.

The victims provided KFOX14 with their signed contracts with Hewlen and the check stubs proving how much money they paid him.

The latest accusations come from Isabel Gomez, who said she gave Hewlen a down payment of $1,300.

"He was supposed to order and install 11 windows for my house, for a total of $4,400, Gomez said.

She said when the windows didn't come, Hewlen began giving her the runaround.

"When I started calling and calling, eventually he just stopped answering my phone calls all together and there's been no sign of him at all, Gomez said.

According to the county attorneys office, Hewlen has a lengthy rap sheet dating back to 2000. He was most recently arrested on Valentine's Day 2014 on a charge of deceptive trade practices. The district attorneys office also has an open theft case against him. Both charges are a result of complaints from Window Gallery customers.

The Better Business Bureau told KFOX14 the Window Gallery has officially gone out of business, disconnected its phone line, and was operating without accreditation and an F rating.

The BBB also told KFOX14 Hewlen filed for bankruptcy in December.

Gomez sued Hewlen and interviewed with KFOX14 outside of the courthouse Hewlen was supposed to show up to for a hearing.

"He didn't show up today, so it was a default hearing, Gomez said. I met somebody else here who is also suing Terry. Same thing, same exact story, $1,100, he just got tired, he isn't getting any response at all. The judge sided with him and ordered him the amount he asked for, including the court costs, however, whether they're actually going be able to get his money back is another question.

KFOX14 last spoke with Hewlen in November, after the station aired a second story about him.

He called KFOX14 and admitted he does owe his customers money, but said he was going to try to do right by turning things around.

That was five months ago, and a call to him on Monday was not returned.

"Completely stay away from this man, he is just heartless, apparently, look at all the people he's done this to and were not talking hundreds, were talking thousands of dollars, Gomez said. It took me and my husband so long to save all that money and it was a lot of sacrifice, we had to go without a lot of things, we trusted him with it and he just took it."