Pct. 1 warns residents of fake tree trimmers scam

The Harris County Precinct 1 Constable's Office is warning residents about a scam where burglars pose as tree trimmers.

HOUSTON - The Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office is warning residents about a scam where burglars pose as tree trimmers.

Investigators say four cases have been reported in several parts of town, including Shepherd Park, Garden Oaks, Braeswood Place and Chinatown.

In each case, one man knocks on the door and tells the homeowner he needs to go into the backyard to trim a neighbor’s tree or work on a fence.

When the homeowner is in the backyard, another suspect enters the house and steals cash, jewelry and other valuables.

“I’m sure this is not something that’s happened four or five times. I think it’s happened a whole lot more, and a lot of people don’t even know their stuff is missing,” said Chief Lofton Harrison with Precinct 1.

Chief Harrison says the suspects seem to be targeting elderly homeowners.

Investigators do not know if the same men are responsible for all the recent burglaries. However, most victims said the suspects were driving a white GMC truck.

The Precinct 1 Constable’s Office shared some tips to prevent others from being victimized by similar scams:

  • Don’t give access to any part of your home to workers you did not expect.
  • Keep your doors locked even when workers you know are around.
  • CenterPoint or other legitimate companies that need access to your backyard may let you know ahead of time and their employees will carry company identification.
  • Check with your neighbors from inside your locked home before allowing anyone onto your property to do work for those neighbors.

(© 2016 KHOU)


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