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Police arrest suspect in ‘grandparents scam’ in Sussex County

VERNON TOWNSHIP, NJ (Sussex County) – Police arrested a suspect who orchestrated a “grandparents scam” on an elderly resident Monday.

On April 4, the Vernon Township Police fielded received a a report from an elderly township resident who was scammed by telephone, resulting in a loss of over $9,000, police said.

The victim was contacted by two individuals, one acting as a distraught family member and another acting as an attorney, police said.

The suspects claimed that the victim’s family member would be facing criminal charges due to a serious motor vehicle accident, and requested money to satisfy bail. This is indicative of a common scam that targets elderly victims aka a “Grandparent Scam,” police said.

The suspect then utilized the UBER app to have the currency picked up from the victim’s residence. A short later, the suspect called the victim a second time, requesting more money in order to satisfy bail on the fabricated story, police said.

The victim then contacted the Vernon Township Police Department and officers responded to the residence and met with the victim, police said.

The victim assisted officers in setting up an operation to attempt to apprehend the suspects in the case. Vernon Township Patrol units and Detectives conducted a motor vehicle stop on the UBER driver who arrived and picked up a second payment which was actually a “dummy package” from the victim’s residence, police said.

During the motor vehicle stop, the destination that the package was to be delivered was ascertained, police said.

Vernon Township Police Detectives along with the Sussex County Gangs, Guns & Narcotics Task force and the Franklin Lakes Police Department set up to intercept the exchange in a Stop and Shop parking lot in Franklin Lakes, police said.

Upon arrival, the suspect fled on foot and was apprehended inside of the store. The suspect was charged with criminal attempted theft, police said.

“The investigation is open and ongoing,” police said.

“Please be aware that these scams are becoming more common. We highly recommend family members have discussions about what to do if they receive suspicious phone calls requesting money. When in doubt, please always contact us [police],” police said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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