MARION COUNTY, Fla. - A man offering tree-trimming work in Marion County is accused of scamming elderly people out of their money.
WFTV learned the most recent case happened days after he got out of jail for the same crime.
Investigators said the latest victim is in the early stages of Alzheimer's and B.J. Helvy went to her home and allegedly offered to trim tree branches for a very hefty price.
“He came to the door a couple of weeks ago and said he was a tree surgeon and wanted to know if we wanted any work done,” said Marion County resident Phyllis Dziedzic.
Phyllis and Stanley Dziedzic forked over $200 to Helvy.
He trimmed some towering branches from a tree in their front yard then returned the next day and asked for more money, the couple said.
“When I walked in and she was making out a check, I said, ‘Wait a minute,’” Stanley Dziedzic said.
The couple said Helvy took off and immediately cashed the check.
“I said to my husband, ‘I don't trust this man anymore. I think he's full of bologna,’” Phyllis Dziedzic said.
The bank stopped the check.
“I was really thinking, how can somebody go to someone's house and tell them this big story and take advantage of senior citizens?” Phyllis Dziedzic said.
The couple wasn't alone.
Deputies said Helvy stole $5,100 from a 74-year-old woman for trimming a tree in her Ocala yard.
He worked under the company name All Florida Tree Service.
The two incidents came just weeks after Helvy was let out of jail for the same crime.
Deputies arrested him in January for charging a woman with Alzheimer's more than $7,000 for tree work.
Deputies said they are now looking for Helvy.
The Sheriff's Office is now warning the elderly to be on the lookout for Helvy and to call authorities if he appears at the front door looking for work.