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This man, caught on camera at US Bank in Cottage Grove, is suspected of swindling a retired Cottage Grove couple out of $7,000. Anyone with information on his identity is asked to call police.

UPDATED: Police seeking man who swindled CG couple out of $7,000

crime and courts Cottage Grove,Minnesota 55016
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UPDATED: Police seeking man who swindled CG couple out of $7,000
Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

Cottage Grove police are seeking a man who allegedly swindled an elderly Cottage Grove couple out of nearly $7,000 by promising to do repair work on their home.

The man identified himself to the couple as Joe Murphy and stated he worked for a company called On Top Construction, according to a Cottage Grove Police Department press release.

He told the couple he would repair the chimney, and trim some branches in their back yard, the release says. He trimmed only a couple of tree limbs, and promised to return within 10 days to finish the job. The couple gave him a check for $6,896, but he never returned to complete the job, according to the press release.

The couple also told police the man borrowed a chain saw that he never returned.

The man cashed the check, and the incident was reported to police on Monday.

US Bank in Cottage Grove captured surveillance camera photographs of the suspect.

Matthew Rasch, owner of Hastings-based On Top Construction, said the man does not work for him, and he's never seen him before.

Police request that anyone with information about the identity of the man in the photograph call Investigator Tom Ueland at (651) 458-6012.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

(651) 459-7600