94-year-old tricked out of £300 by ‘gardeners’

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Police are investigating after an elderly woman was tricked out of £300 by two men claiming to be gardeners.

The men called at the 94-year-old’s North Shields home unannounced, saying they had come to cut the grass.

She was charged £300 by the men, which she paid in cash.

Police are now trying to trace the two men after being alerted by the woman’s family.

They carried out the gardening work on Tuesday, July 5, between 10am and 11am.

They are described as being in their late 30s to early 40s, and one had long dark hair.

Both men were wearing green trousers and tops, with high-visibility jackets.

They drove off in a small unmarked white van and left no calling card or invoice.

Police are appealing for anyone able to help them track down the two men to come forward.

Acting Detective Inspector Joanne Brooks, of North Tyneside CID said: “We want to remind people to remain vigilant at all times when answering the door to someone they’re not expecting.

“They should check identity cards, which should include a photograph of the caller and details of the company.

“If the caller is genuine, they won’t mind waiting while their credentials are checked.

“If in any doubt ask the caller to come back later so you can arrange to have someone with you when they return, any genuine caller will understand.”

Any witnesses are asked to call police on 03456 043043 ext 69191 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.