Greensboro woman warns of tree trimming scam

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- On March 7,  Linda Ueland decided to get some work done in her backyard.

"We wanted to go ahead and get our trees trimmed," Ueland said. "I pulled the flyer out and made the call to this person's number on here."

She called a man named Jim Shrewsbury who approached her in her yard a few weeks earlier, claiming to own the tree trimming service Arbor Tech Custom Tree Care.

"We walked around the yard,” she said. “We wrote down a few things I wanted to have done."

Ueland got a quote for $170 dollars.

She paid the full amount up front, in cash.

"I was just eager to get it done,” she said.

But Ueland says the workers never showed up that day.

And after three days of back and forth text messages and phone calls to the owner, she asked for her money back.

"Just come and refund my money," she said.

Ueland never heard from Shrewsbury again.

She called police and gave them his information and license plate number.

Police say the car is registered to James Sexton Jr. who has at least seven warrants out for his arrest, including conspiracy to commit false pretense, obtaining property by false pretense and exploit elder trust.

"Typically, they're getting under $500 at a time," said Det. Edward Bruscino, with the Greensboro Police Department.

Bruscino says Sexton uses different names and addresses for himself and his company.

"It looks like he's just going from place to place and, may be when he needs money, he commits one of these scams," Bruscino said.

Arbor Tech Custom Tree Care has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has had six complaints filed against it since October 2016.

The BBB says the business is also linked to another tree trimming service, Curb Appeal Custom Tree Care, which has 15 complaints filed against it.

Ueland says she's sharing her story to prevent someone else from being the next victim.

"Stop somebody else from being in the same situation," Ueland said.

FOX8 made several phone calls to the number listed for Arbor Tech Custom Tree Care. None of the calls were answered.

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