Police hunt 'callous' bogus gardeners
By Hannah McLaverty-Williamson, on 17 November 2010
Residents in North Yorkshire have been warned to be on the look out for bogus gardeners, after one victim was conned out of £500.
Police are currently appealing for information following the incident which took place last week at a property in Whin Bank, Scarborough.
According to the story in the Gazette and Herald, two men knocked on the door of the 47 year-old-male victim and asked if he needed any gardening work carried out. The homeowner agreed that the two men could have a look in his garden, and give their opinion.
The two men felled two trees in the back garden which they claimed were diseased, using a chainsaw, but on asking for payment they told the victim that he owed them £2,000 for the work. He initially refused to pay, but when the man put more pressure on them, he reluctantly paid them £500.
Sgt Graeme Kynman of the Scarborough Safer Neighbourhood Team told the Scarborough Evening News: "The methods employed to illicit a substantial amount of money from the victim can only be described as callous, calculated and sinister. It is highly likely that these men have attempted to con other people, if not in Scarborough then in neighbouring policing areas."
"The sooner they are apprehended the better it will be for everybody concerned. In the meantime I urge people to remain vigilant, not to engage with cold-callers and to report any suspicious behaviour to the police."
Homeowners that are unsure if work is needed in their gardens should call recommended gardeners, who will be able to provide them with a quote. They should ensure the quote is in writing and contact a number of professionals to ensure the price quoted is a reasonable amount for the proposed work.
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