2 sought to face charges in landscaping scam At least 15 area residents paid for work that was never done GLEN BURNIE

August 25, 1993|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Staff Writer

County police are looking for a brother and sister who, along with another brother, are suspected of bilking more than a dozen residents in a landscaping scam.

Gary A. Curtin, 33, and his sister, Lilly Curtin, 36, of the 300 block of Andover Road in Linthicum Heights, will be charged with theft, license violations and conspiracy when they are arrested, said Detective Patrick Fisher of the Northern District.

Their brother, Brian James Curtin, 30, of the same address, was arrested Aug. 13 on charges of theft, license violations and conspiracy. He is being held in the county detention center without bail, Detective Fisher said.

Detective Fisher said Brian Curtin faces about 20 more charges of theft and conspiracy stemming from a landscaping company that investigators say he ran with his two siblings.

Detective Fisher said the three traveled around Glen Burnie and North County, knocked on doors and offered to cut down trees or haul in topsoil for yards.

"What they would do is collect a deposit and then maybe cut down one branch and then make an excuse and then leave," Detective Fisher said. "They would just never come back to finish the job."

That is what happened on July 15 to Thomas Bailey, 33, who lives in the 900 block of Big Baer Drive in Glen Burnie, the officer said.

According to the police report, a man arrived at Mr. Bailey's door and offered to cut down a tree for $40.

"He said he was in the neighborhood anyway, trimming trees for neighbors and if I wanted something done, now would be a good time," Mr. Bailey said yesterday.

Mr. Bailey said a tree in a neighbor's yard was interfering with his satellite dish, and he wanted the branches trimmed.

"It had been on my mind to get that tree trimmed," he said. "So it was real convenient to have them there and do it."

Mr. Bailey paid the man, but the work was never done, the police report said.

Two other residents of Big Baer Court also were bilked out of cash, police reports say. In one incident, a resident told police he gave a man a $60 deposit to cut down several trees.

The man cut down some of the branches but said he needed $40 more to bring over some topsoil, the police report said. He never returned.

Detective Fisher said there are 15 known victims of the scam in the county and that he thinks there could be more.

"People are usually embarrassed by this because they have been taken for money," he said.

"Some of them don't report it and think nothing can be done, or that it's a civil matter, not a criminal one."

Detective Fisher said people should always ask for a license when someone offers to do yard work.

"Also, make sure they have been bonded," he said. "And see if they are listed in the phone book."

Detective Fisher said those who think they have been victims of this scam should call him at 222-6135.

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