Three arrested in Walsall garden con
17 August 2012
THREE men have been arrested on suspicion of conning an elderly woman out of her savings.
The arrests follow an incident that happened on 16 August on Holly Lane, Walsall Wood.
A 77-year-old woman was approached by the three men who persuaded her to have garden work carried out for a fee of £40.
The men later told her that they had treated her small garden with ‘special chemicals’ and demanded more money from the victim. She handed over £170.
The three men aged, 23, 25 and 29, were arrested by officers yesterday (Thursday 16 August) after a neighbour alerted police, concerned that her elderly neighbour was being pressured into having garden work carried out.
Police tracked and stopped a van and all three men were arrested.
The 23 and 25-year-old men have since been released on bail and pending further enquires.
The 29-year-old man has since been charged for a previous offence which occurred in June where an elderly man from Pelsall was conned out of his £2,500 savings for gardening services and pest control that was never carried out.
Detective Inspector Anthony Banton, from Walsall police, said: "'These types of crimes are particularly wicked because the victims tend to be the more vulnerable members of our communities.
"Their vulnerability is exposed by the trust they show to people who contact them claiming to be someone that they are not and then handing over large sums of cash for services that do not warrant such a high price.
''Amounts stolen can vary from small sums of money to hard earned life savings.”
Walsall police have been working closely with Walsall Trading Standards to protect the public from rogue traders.
Det Insp Banton added: "We are advising people that if they need garden work doing, trees cutting down or repairs made to their home they should always get several written quotes from reputable firms and not be intimidated by cold callers.
“If you are in any doubt don’t let the caller in. Genuine callers will always be happy to come back at a different time when you can have a friend or family member with you.”
A list of home improvement businesses can be found online at www.traderregister.org.uk/walsall, or by calling Trading Standards on 01922 652246