Grandma, 75, conned by would be tree-trimmer using kitchen cleaner as threat

TAMPA - A 75-year-old South Tampa woman learned the hard way after being duped by a would-be tree trimmer.  He stole her jewelry after spraying her with cleaning disinfectant and then took off.

Pat Jordan is thankful something worse did not happen.

Jordan's life seemed pretty good until Tuesday, she said.  "It's the worst thing that's happened in 75 years."

A knock on her door, coupled with her trusting nature, led to trouble.

A man claimed to be working on her neighbor's fence

"He said, 'I'm trimming someone of their trees.  Can I trim some of yours?'" Jordan explained.

He promised a bargain $150, compared to the $700 he normally charged.

"I gave him the money, and then he came back in a hurry and he started spraying around and said I got to spray for the spiders because the spiders will get loose," Jordan said.

She said he got some of that spray, a cleaning solution Pat kept in her cabinet, on her.

"He said it was acid, but it's just Greased Lightning," she said.

Jordan still didn't suspect anything.

"He took a bowl, put the grape juice in it and and said, 'Put your jewels in here,'" said Jordan.

She slipped off five bracelets.

And then the warning bells went off.  But by this time, the robber pocketed the jewels and ran out the door, where a getaway car awaited.

"I was screaming, 'He took my jewelry. He took my jewelry,'" said Jordan.

At that very same moment, a new driver, 15-year-old Toria Filder, decided to use Jordan's driveway to turn around.

Her mother, Jill Corcoran immediately sprang to action

"I said, 'Beep at this guy!' And I am waving my hands frantically.  What is wrong with you?  Stop!" said Corcoran.

But they didn't.

"I rolled down the window and asked if she was ok.  She said, 'No.  He stole my jewelry and $150.'  I said, 'Toria, trade me spots!'" said Corcoran.

She followed the car to Westshore Blvd., and got a good description for police.  They are now looking for a white SUV, possibly a Chevrolet.

"That was a gift from God, they were here," said Jordan referring to Corcoran and her daughter.
Jordon had a message for them.  "I will be praying for you and thanking God for you," said Jordan.

And a harsher one for the man who conned her.  "I think it must be pitiful to pick on people," she said.

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