Police want to clip tree trimmer

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 26, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

A Virginia Beach man is still being sought by Suffolk Police after he defrauded three people who hired him to trim trees in their yards.

Police Detective Joyce L. Williams has filed warrants for the arrest of Christopher Michael Kelly. He is a 25-year-old white, male, 5 feet 10 inches tall, 170 pounds, brown hair, and hazel eyes.

Email newsletter signup

The detective said Kelley operates a truck that may bear the logo, &uot;AAA Cut Above Tree Service.&uot; Kelley’s last known address is the 1500 block of Independence Boulevard, Vir-ginia Beach. Warrants are on file charging him with obtaining money under false pretenses, felony vandalism and destruction of trees.

Police have been looking for Kelley since Dec. 8, 2003, when an elderly Sleepy Lake subdivision couple hired him from an ad in The Virginian-Pilot. They wanted him to cut down a tree in their yard, and when he nearly had the job completed, he went to their door asking for payment.

According to what the couple told Williams, they refused to pay Kelley until he’d completed the job. At that point, they told Williams, the man went to the front yard and cut down two additional trees that fell across their driveway. A third tree was damaged so badly, it is dying. Kelley was operating under the business name of AAA Cut Above Tree Service at the time of this offense.

Williams added that in a more recent incident, Kelly was contracted by a 73-year-old woman to cut down and remove a large oak tree from her yard. She told Williams she paid Kelly $1,000. This time, he was working under the business name, &uot;A Cut Above Tree Service,&uot; and in this instance, he cut down the tree but left it laying in the yard. Williams said Kelley never returned to the site and has not returned victim’s calls.

Williams is investigating both incidents and she asked that anyone with knowledge of Kelley, the vehicle bearing his logo, or other victims, to call her at the Suffolk Police Dispatch at 923-2350, or call Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-Up. Callers to Crime Line never give their names but instead, remain anonymous and they never testify in court. If a caller’s information leads to an arrest, the caller is eligible for up to $1,000 from Crime Line.