Stevenage scam victim grateful as firm removes rubbish without charge

PUBLISHED: 10:10 10 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:10 10 September 2018

Richard Harknett of Rubbish Clearance Herts offered to clear rubbish left on Paul Smith's lawn after he was conned out of £100. Picture: DANNY LOO

Richard Harknett of Rubbish Clearance Herts offered to clear rubbish left on Paul Smith's lawn after he was conned out of £100. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Paul Smith, who was fleeced out of £100 by a stranger who took his cash before dumping rubbish all over his lawn, was beyond grateful when a company removed it all for him without charge.

Richard Harknett of Rubbish Clearance Herts offered to clear rubbish left on Paul Smith's lawn after he was conned out of £100. Picture: DANNY LOORichard Harknett of Rubbish Clearance Herts offered to clear rubbish left on Paul Smith's lawn after he was conned out of £100. Picture: DANNY LOO

Richard Harknett and his firm Rubbish Clearance Hertfordshire removed the massive pile of trash from outside Paul’s Stevenage home after reading in the Comet about his ordeal.

Paul, who lives in Bedwell, had a knock on the door on Friday, August 24, from a man who offered to take rubbish outside his home off his hands in return for £100.

He gave him the cash, and the stranger started loading up the van before asking Paul if he had a saw to cut a lump of wood.

Paul went to get the saw, only to come back to find the stranger gone and all the rubbish dumped back onto his lawn.

Richard Harknett of Rubbish Clearance Herts offered to clear rubbish left on Paul Smith's lawn after he was conned out of £100. Picture: DANNY LOORichard Harknett of Rubbish Clearance Herts offered to clear rubbish left on Paul Smith's lawn after he was conned out of £100. Picture: DANNY LOO

Paul, who has reported the scam to the police, told the Comet he wanted to help make sure other people don’t fall for the same trick.

Richard afterwards contacted the paper with an offer to remove the rubbish free of charge – which Paul gratefully accepted.

Paul said the thief was “a big stocky fellow” aged about 40, who drove a plain white van and had a boy aged about 15 with him.

If you have information that could help officers trace the scammer, call 101 and quote reference 41/28396/18.

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