Bogus tree-trimmers make off with $1,000 from Tosa homeowner

March 9, 2011

Scam artists posing as tree-trimmers are back in Wauwatosa and a 71-year-old man fell victim to their con last week.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

A man knocked on the door at 1:30 p.m. March 2 stating that he worked for a tree trimming company and offering his services. The homeowner invited him into his kitchen, where they agreed on a $50 upfront payment. The worker watched as the homeowner took money out of a hiding place.

A second man showed up saying he was there to set up a wood chipper, but in hindsight the homeowner realized he didn't see any machines.

The initial worker asked the homeowner to accompany him outside to point out which tree to trim. When they returned, the man went back to his vehicle, got in and left. Soon afterward, he realized $1,000 was missing from the house.

The suspects were described as Hispanic men, one in his early 20s and the second about 25 years old, with a medium build and about 5 feet, 8 inches tall. The vehicle was a dark-colored sports utility vehicle or van.

A man pretending to work for a tree service burglarized a house in Tosa and got violent with the homeowner earlier this winter. Menomonee Falls has investigated similar crimes.

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