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Faux tree workers rob elderly resident

Date: 9/5/2013

By Chris Maza

LONGMEADOW – The Longmeadow Police Department is warning residents to be on the lookout for thieves in the area purporting to be tree workers.

According to a Sept. 2 press release from Longmeadow Police Captain John Stankiewicz, authorities are currently looking for the man who stole jewelry from an elderly resident of Western Drive.

On Aug. 31, the victim was approached at her home at approximately 6 p.m. by a man who identified himself as an employee of a tree company doing work for a neighbor. He said he needed to “delineate property lines in the back yard.”

“The victim accompanied him to the back yard leaving her front door unlocked,” Stankiewicz said. “After spending some time searching for property markers, the male received a phone call and abruptly excused himself and left.”

Later that evening, the victim discovered a large quantity of jewelry missing from her bedroom.

Stankiewicz explained the police believe that while the woman was with the man in the back yard, another individual or individuals entered the house through the unlocked front door. After stealing valuables, they alerted their alleged co-conspirator via cell phone.

The suspect who accompanied the victim in the back yard was described as a dark-skinned Hispanic man with black hair and black eyes, standing approximately 5-foot-7, with a yellow notepad. The vehicle was described as a boxy beige or grey sedan.

Since the press release was issued, Stankiewicz said the department had received a tip from an East Longmeadow resident who claims to have been approached by two men – who claimed to be tree workers.

“On Aug. 5, she was approached by a Hispanic male and a white male looking to do tree service on her house, stating it still appeared she had damage from the [Oct. 29, 2011] storm,” he said. “She said she wasn’t interested and they got a little spooked and they said they would come back another time and left without identifying themselves. She asked for a business card and they said they had just given out their last one, then jumped in their truck and left.”

Stenkiewicz said at this time he could not say definitively if the two incidents were connected.

Anyone with information should call the Longmeadow Police Department at 567-3311.