LPSO News Blog

Local Tree-Trimming Scammer Arrested in Tangipahoa Parish


10/22/2013 by Brennan Matherne
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Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre announced the arrest of a man who allegedly scammed several residents out of hundreds of dollars with the promise of trimming trees on their properties. Howard James Sevin (W/M, D.O.B. 06/03/80) of 134 Morris Porche Lane in Gray was found and arrested in Tangipahoa Parish on Saturday, October 19. He is also wanted for similar theft charges in Terrebonne Parish.

On at least four occasions, detectives learned Sevin arrived at homes in Lafourche Parish offering to trim trees on the property at a discounted fee to the resident. In each case, Sevin collected money prior to completing the job and then left the site telling the property owner he was leaving to retrieve additional equipment. Sevin never returned to any of the sites. Following their investigation, detectives obtained warrants for Sevin's arrest for two counts of Theft of Assets of an Aged Person and two counts of Theft. They also discovered he had an outstanding Contempt of Court charge, as well as similar theft warrants in Terrebonne Parish.

Through investigation, detectives learned Sevin was in Tangipahoa Parish on Saturday. Through cooperation with the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, Sevin was arrested on Saturday, and eventually transported back to Lafourche Parish where he was booked Monday on the outstanding warrants. Sevin remains at the Lafourche Parish Detention Center in lieu of $23,000 bond, and he is also being held for Terrebonne Parish where warrants have set his bond at an additional $37,000. He is also being held for Louisiana Probation and Parole.

Detectives say Sevin was targeting the elderly with these scams, as most of the victims are over the age of 70 years. Since the announcement last week that detectives were looking for him, four more victims have come forward, and detectives are applying for warrants in those cases. Any other Lafourche Parish residents who were victimized by this scam are asked to call investigators at (985) 532-4320.