Police Warning Mercer County Residents About Scam Targeting The Elderly
By Cleve Bryan
WEST WINDSOR TWP, NJ – A scam involving elderly homeowners lured outside while a burglar takes cash and jewelry has now spread to the fourth community this month.
On Tuesday, July 15th detectives in the West Windsor Twp Police Department responded to an 87-year-old woman’s house for report of a burglary.
Irene Stults says a Hispanic man in his 20s or 30s came to her door around noon and said he needed to measure trees along her property line.
“He got his measurements, and then he was talking on the phone and he says, ‘Now I have to go meet my boss,’ and he went out and got in his pick up and left,” says Stults.
She went into her house and saw the kitchen cabinets and drawers were all open. She then went into the bedroom and there were pieces of jewelry scattered on the bed.
Empty jewelry boxes, which had contained family heirlooms and special gifts, were on the floor.
“I had a necklace with a coin on it from 1928,” says Stults, who held back tears remembering the people who gave her the jewelry.
West Windsor Twp Detective Kevin Loretucci says the burglary could be linked to similar incidents this month in Hamilton Township, East Brunswick and Freehold Township.
“All burglaries with the same type of things – a white pickup truck targeting elderly homeowners, and the suspect was described as a Hispanic male in his 20s or 30s,” says Loretucci.
In each case, a suspect draws the victim outside while another person or persons loot the home.
Detective Sergeant Bob Diszler from Hamilton Towship Police says in one instance, the male wanted to talk about gutters, and in another, he asked about putting a dumpster in the yard.
Officials are looking for better descriptions of the suspect and his vehicle while reminding the elderly to be on alert.
“They should always ask for identification. If the person is unwilling to give identification, then request that the police come out there and identify the people, or just don’t let them in,” says Loretucci.