(Bartlett, TN) Bartlett police said that an elderly woman gave about $10,000 to a man for removing a tree in her front yard. Police now have a warrant out for Richard Reed for extortion.
The elderly woman told News Channel 3 she wanted to stay anonymous, but felt her story should be a warning for other people.
In late November, the woman’s husband was dying, and she said she was preoccupied. So when a few men showed up at her doorstep offering to trim her tree, she accepted.
“I really wanted [the tree] out of there. It was just a mess in the driveway,” she said.
But when one of the men was up in the tree, he told her the whole tree had to be removed.
She agreed, and gave them a check for $8,000.
She said she knew it was too much. But “I was getting scared of them right away.”
The next day, a man police say is Richard Reed, came back to the woman’s house. He demanded $2,500 more.
A week later, a woman came to the door saying she worked for Reed.
She told the woman, “I got to have it. He told me I got to get it. I said, I’m sorry. You had all your – you had more than you’re going to get. Now I don’t care. Now go. And I shut, I slammed the door.”
Yet Reed allegedly came back again. This time, she didn’t answer the door.
“It was just a bad deal,” she said, “I was just numb and stunned.”
Bartlett Police said that Richard Reed has done this before and has an extensive criminal history.
If you can help police locate him, please call (901) 385-5555.