Police warn people to be on their guard against conmen gardeners in the March and Wisbech area
- Credit: Archant
Police are warning people to watch out for gardening conmen after a woman in her 70s had some minor work done and was charged £1,360.
The men worked on three trees at her home in March - which took around an hour - then drove the woman to her local bank to get the cash.
her son Steve Armourae said: “My mother had some garden work done that lasted less than an hour.
“A three foot tree staked upright, a five foot leylandii tree shaped, badly, and a six feet leylandii tree cut to the stump with a promise they would be back in two weeks to extract the root.
“They gave her no paperwork and kept changing the total. They drove her to Santander bank where they charged her £1,360!
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“They are driving an open top van that is used for gathering garden refuse. It has a green and white livery on the side with a tree amongst the company name.
“They are operating in March, Wisbech area, but claimed to come from Cambridge, which is a long distance for a garden service on cold calling business.”
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The incident happened on May 25 and was reported to police on May 26.
He describes the men as:
• One is about 5’6’’ with short dark curly hair.
• His companion has short blonde or bleached hair with similar coloured beard. About the same height. Both are overweight.
• On one day they were accompanied by two women. The elder one has blonde, probably dyed hair, and the younger woman has an infant probably less than a year old.
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Police said: “We were contacted with reports of an incident of rogue trading in Collingwood Avenue the previous day.
“Two men called at a property and persuaded a woman in her 70s that she needed gardening work completed.
“They initially quoted £260 for the work, increased this to £360 and later drove the victim to a bank to withdraw an additional £1,000. The work completed was minor and not to a high standard.
“An investigation is ongoing, but no arrests have yet been made.
“We advise people to always check the identity and legitimacy of anyone who calls at your home offering to complete work.
“If you have any doubts at all as to whether the caller is genuine, ask them to leave and come back at a time that is convenient to you and when you have had a chance to ask someone to be with you.
“If you ever doubt that someone is genuine, contact police on 101, or 999 if you are in immediate danger.”
• Anyone with information contact police on 101 quoting CF0291340517. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or visit https://crimestoppers-uk.org/