Pine-straw scammers troll for victims in Peachtree City

Peachtree City police have some advice for the relatively well-heeled, well-educated community: if someone bills you $8,400 for putting pine straw around your house, it’s probably a scam.

Apparently a resident called the cops when he got just such a bill for two days of labor and materials from a company that spread the straw around shrubs on his possibly half-acre lot.

“For $8400 you could probably replace your front yard,” Lt. Mark Brown said in a posting on the Peachtree City police department website Wednesday.

Brown was diplomatic in posting the warning; he didn’t name the victim or go into details, like whether he paid.

But the lieutenant did use the call to warn that con artists lurk in the Fayette County city in the form of unscrupulous landscapers.

“Generally they quote a cheap price to spread the pine straw,” he said on the website. “Usually around $3.50 – $4 per bale, which is ridiculous because the stuff costs $3 per bale wholesale. So what they do is just charge you double the number of bales they actually used.”

Generally it is a good idea, Brown gently advised homeowners, to get a price in writing in advance of any labor. And “call 911 if they are demanding, threatening, or suspicious.”

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