ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office warned Monday of a scam involving thieves who are making rounds claiming to do resurfacing and resealing driveways, but are actually stealing from the victims.
Deputies said the latest incident happened at an elderly couple's home in southern St. Augustine.
Bob, an 83-year-old veteran, said he and his wife, Barbara, paid a crew of four men $500 to refinish their driveway Dec. 9.
"We thought, well, we needed the work done and that was a fair price, so he brings two workers down here and immediately starts working on it," Barbara said.
Bob and Barbara said they felt comfortable hiring the crew because one of the men insisted he was a man of faith, talking about his Christianity.
The following Monday, the crew returned to finish the job. Barbara said she went to get the money to pay them, and one man followed her into the couple's bedroom.
Once she got the $4,000 in cash, they walked out of the room but Barbara left the remaining money on the bed. Deputies said one man eventually snuck in to get the rest of the money -- stealing more than $8,000.
The couple said they were told that the work to the portion of the driveway would be dry by that night. But seven days later, they said it was still wet, as well as the work being sloppy.
Deputies described the four men suspected to be involved in the scam as white men, three of whom are in their 30s to 40s and one man who is older, possibly in his 50s. All four men were wearing yellowish shirts with a company name on them, deputies said.
The men were reported to be driving a black or dark blue Ford quad cab truck with the side step that folds down when the doors open and an old white pickup truck with a camper on the back and lots of equipment hanging out, deputies said.
Sheriff's Office Cmdr. Chuck Mulligan warned homeowners that if someone approaches you about work, don't invite them inside and ask for credentials or a business card.
“The type of individual who goes in and pulls off this type of scam, they are confidence men. These are people that gain your trust, gain your confidence that they are who they say they are -- it’s their job to be able to scam you," Mulligan said.
If you have any information or have been approached by these men, please contact Deputy LeDoux at firstname.lastname@example.org.