Conmen stole £800 from Sheffield man by posing as tree surgeons

Southey Drive, Southey
Southey Drive, Southey

Two men posing as tree surgeons are being hunted by the police after they conned a Sheffield man out of £800.

They struck at a house on Southey Drive, Southey, last Tuesday afternoon after calling and telling the elderly occupant that they were tree surgeons.

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The men claimed that they needed to prune a tree following a request from a neighbour, who was going to pay half the cost.

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Their elderly victim agreed to pay £300 for the work but afterwards the fraudsters returned and claimed they had only been handed £200.

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They were given another £100 and left in a white van.

Their victim later discovered than another £400 and a watch had been stolen from his living room.

PC Susannah Taylor, who is leading the investigation into the incident, said: "I’d like to offer my reassurance that work is currently ongoing to identify the men involved and we have been making enquiries in the area and speaking to members of the community to gather statements.

"I am now appealing for anyone who may have been in the area at the time, or has information about the incident, to please report it."

She added: "I’d also like to raise awareness of steps and action members of the public can take to protect themselves for bogus officials and distraction burglars.

"When answering the door to people you don’t know use a chain if you have one, always ask for proof of identification and if you still remain unsure call the company to verify where they are from.

"Similarly, please avoid keeping large quantities of cash in your home, always keep your doors and windows locked and report any concerns you have to police."

One of the conmen was white, around 6ft 2ins tall, thin and wearing a harness, black T-shirt and woolly gloves.

The other was white, around 5ft 7ins tall, of a medium build and had short, dark hair.

He was wearing a black T-shirt with 'Tree Surgeon' written across the front.

Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, quoting incident number 486 of April 17.