CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Community members in Midlothian are helping a man who was scammed out of hundreds of dollars last month — money that he had saved for Christmas.
Wayne Heath lives near County Line Road in Chesterfield County. On Oct. 26, a group of men were going door to door in his neighborhood to ask if they needed work done on their homes. Heath initially declined, but asked them if they could remove the squirrels out of his attic.
Heath told 8News that the men went up to the attic for about 15 minutes and then came back downstairs. According to Chesterfield Police, they ran off with the money without doing any of the work.
Now, neighbors and Virginia Wildlife Management and Control have stepped in to help.
Neighbors have answered the call and are raising money to replace what Heath has lost.
Tito Luna lives nearby.
“When we found out, we just were so troubled by it. We hear stories about seniors being taken advantage of and we’ve never seen it hit close to home,” Luna said. “When we found out that it happened to Wayne and we read your story, we were just devastated.”
Luna said he created a fundraiser, which has raised $100 so far.
“He’s just a person that everyone knows, and he knows everyone,” Luna said. “He’s just someone that likes to help people. We just had Election Day and there’s so much divisiveness. It’s time for everyone to be neighborly again.”
Heath reacted to his neighbors chipping in to help him.
“It makes me feel good,” Heath said. “I get emotional sometimes, but I have good neighbors here.”
Richard Perry is the owner of Virginia Wildlife Management and Control. This morning, Perry and his wife visited Heath’s home.
Perry told 8News that Heath’s story almost brought tears to his eyes.
“We’re taking over this situation. We’re going to go ahead and help Mr. Heath right now, and we are not going to charge him anything,” Perry said.
Perry set traps, removed the squirrels and secured the area for free. However, it isn’t a permanent fix. He said the metal on the bottom of Heath’s roof is chewed and eaten up. It’s rotting and that’s where the squirrels are able to climb through. The gutters are also falling off.
Perry said squirrels are ‘wreaking havoc’ in Heath’s attic.
“It’s hard sometimes because you can’t sleep at night,” Heath said. “They’re scampering and going back and forth.”
Perry said Heath needs a handyman. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done in order to fix the problem permanently. It’s estimated that he needs a few thousand dollars worth in repairs.
Perry is asking community members to reach out to him if they’re interested in helping Heath.
“He was a man who’s gone out and blessed the community and gave back to the community, and this is our way of helping him,” Perry said.
If you have any information about the scammers or the incident from October, contact Chesterfield Police at 804-748-1251.