Landscaper up to old tricks

This page contains my random thoughts. They could change frequently, or seldom, as my moods suggest, depending on news items or other events that motivate me and arouse my passions.

North Amarillo beware! A knock on your door after dark could lead to an encounter with landscaper Benjamin Franklin Smith.

Benjamin is a smooth talker, introducing himself by name and delivering facts about his family, business, and address. Benjamin’s willingness to divulge so much information about himself is all a ploy to lure you into his comfort zone. One can almost see the twinkle in Benjamin’s eye as he starts his next line of questions.

What’s your name? Quid pro quo, something for something, Benjamin has already honored his side of the exchange.

What? Not feeling comfortable with giving your personal information to a stranger standing on your porch after dark? No problem Benjamin is already three steps ahead of you, hesitate responding for only a moment and Benjamin with his coy smile bates his hook.

“You look familiar, are you related to …”

And this is where Benjamin Franklin Smith slowly reels you in. He either knows someone in your family or references that he has done work for someone highly respected and visible in community.

Now Benjamin has you, hook line and sinker, he’s earned your trust.

“Let me tell you why I stopped here tonight …” “My bucket truck broke down …” “Could you lend me $20 so I can have enough …” “Tell you what, I’ll come back and trim your trees in exchange for the $20 …” “How can I afford to do all this work for only $20 …” “I’ll haul away the excess timber and sell it ..” “I’ll leave my tools here …”

 This good fortune materialized on your front porch, after dark, and sounds too good to be true. So why not take advantage of Benjamin’s offer? Lately several people have given to Benjamin’s cause only to be left high and dry.

 In July of 2007 Benjamin Franklin Smith was arrested for aggregated theft.

Landscaper Arrested
Reported by: Jennifer Laxson
Monday, Jul 16, 2007 @05:33pm CST

AMARILLO — Earlier this month, we brought you a story about a tree trimming company. The man in charge was being accused of taking money for work and not finishing the job. This weekend, Benjamin Franklin Smith was arrested.

According to Amarillo Police Corporal Jerry Neufeld, the charge is for aggregated theft over $1,500 and under $20,000.

There are several incidents combined into one charge.

 I only learned of Benjamin’s misadventures during Sunday school this past Sunday morning (February 24, 2008) as they were relayed by one of the deacons. Mr. Benjamin if by any chance you’re reading this, a stop payment order was issued for that check.

 Yes, Sunday after dark I received a visit from Mr. Benjamin Franklin Smith. He was turned away empty handed.

 Think back to that “Quid pro quo” that I spoke of earlier.

 LISTEN UP BOYS AND GIRLS: The internet is not just for myspace and downloading ringtones.

 We have already uncovered an arrest record for Benjamin, so we’ll continue to dig deeper.

 Benjamin Franklin Smith’s residence is 1312 Harper Street. No big surprise here, because Benjamin has already given us that information himself. So moving on, we’ll go to the Amarillo Police Department website and visit the Warrant Information page. Here we find the Court Issued Warrant List (updated 2/26/2008). And who do we find on the Amarillo Municipal Court Active Warrants list?

 Three guesses and the first two don’t count! Benjamin Franklin Smith has three active warrants totaling $1157 dollars.

 If you’ve had an encounter with Benjamin Franklin Smith and would like to file a report with the Amarillo Police Department you now have the “WHO and WHERE”.

 If you are a law enforcement officer or an officer of the court the least you could do is stop by 1312 Harper. I’m sure Mr. Benjamin Franklin Smith would be more than happy to discuss his warrant status with you.

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