Roofing scheme leaves Longwood couple robbed

- A Seminole County couple is warning neighbors after a fake sales pitch ended in their treasured heirlooms being stolen.

On Wednesday, deputies responded to the couple’s home in the Ravenbrook neighborhood where nearly $9000 in jewelry had been stolen from inside.

Sunny and Richard Pratt said they were working in the yard when 2 men in a white truck claiming to be roofers approached them; claiming to have met Sunny before.

"He says to me, 'you don't remember me do you?'" said Sunny. “He says, ‘the roof, the roof.’”

The couple said they had been working on getting their roof repaired from the hurricane last year but didn’t recall the men, and didn’t think they were from the company they’d been working with.

Pratt said red flags started going off as one of the men continually talked to her husband while the other claimed he was going to get color samples for potential repairs.

Then after the men just disappeared, the couple said.

Sunny said it wasn’t until later that afternoon that she got a bad feeling and checked her jewelry collection only to find her engagement ring and several other of her most prized and expensive pieces missing.

"That's the first thing that I knew was gone; that and my wedding band,” said Sunny who wasn’t as concerned with the cost as the sentimental value. "They were important to me; they were things I wanted to leave my granddaughter."

According to the Sheriff’s Office report, deputies found several finger prints at the scene.

The Pratts said they hope others can learn from the red flags they looked past that day. 

The Sheriff’s Office warns residents to be aware of this scheme and others. Their tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Call 911 immediately to report suspicious activity, persons, or vehicles.
  • Always lock doors, windows and sliding glass doors, even when you are home or in your yard.
  • If you are at home and the doorbell rings, go to the door to investigate who is there and let them know that a person is inside.
  • If you are confronted by someone claiming to be a worker, contactor, or any professional person, ask for identification and a business card.
  • Research the phone number of the company they claim to be with and call for verification.
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