Dodgy workers rob elderly couple

UPDATE: An 88-year-old great-grandmother has lost her life savings after two conmen posed as tradesmen and offered to fix her driveway.

Helena Leitis and her husband Helmuts, who has since died, were at home in their Swan View property when two men knocked on their door and offered their services as handymen about 9am on June 14.

The men claimed they could repair the driveway and subsequently painted it at a cost of $150/sqm.

They returned the next day and offered to repair the couple’s roof.

The couple’s youngest daughter Suzanne Marshall said the men continued to demand more money with each trip they made up the ladder onto the roof.

Their repairs extended to pouring a cement-like substance onto a tile and subsequently blocking the gutter.

When they completed the job, Mrs Leitis allowed one of the men into the house to count out their fee.

She had dipped into the couple’s lifesavings, which were held in an envelope to get $1000.

The man tried to grab the envelope and, despite Mrs Leitis’ best efforts to hold onto the cash, the thief managed to pull it away and run to a waiting white car.

“He just grabbed everything, he grabbed from my hand,” Mrs Leitis said.

Ms Marshall said the other man entered the home at the same time and rummaged through a bedroom, though he didn’t appear to steal anything before sneaking out.

Ms Marshall said her 87-year-old father never fully recovered from the trauma surrounding the attack and died in hospital from pneumonia three weeks later.

The couple had intended to use the $19,000 to pay for their funerals.

Vehicle seen leaving Swan View home.

Mrs Leitis said she had been left constantly scared that someone might hurt her.

A police spokeswoman said it was believed these men might frequent the area and arrive at houses unannounced, stating that they have leftover materials from a job in the area.

"They then offer to carry out labour work such as spray painting of driveways and roof restorations at inexpensive prices, however their work is often of a poor quality," the spokeswoman said.

"They request cash for payment and do not provide business cards."

One of the men is described as having an Irish accent, 28 to 32 years old, 170cm tall, with a ruddy complexion, short ginger hair, a skinny build and slight facial stubble. He was wearing a fluoro yellow long-sleeved work shirt and jeans.

Anyone with information about the men is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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