Merchant stuck with fake bills & more: NPD blotter

A Franklin Ave. business in Nutley was the apparent victim of a counterfeit sting. The business representative informed Nutley PD that a woman walked into the shop last Saturday, Nov. 15, and asked for a prepaid credit card and said she needed $900 loaded onto the card.

Police said an employee completed the transaction and received nine $100 bills from the woman who then hurriedly left the store.

Belatedly discovering that the bills were reportedly phony, the employee tried to catch up to the woman outside the store but couldn’t stop her in time, police said.

Police said the phone number used for the transaction was found not to be in service.

The woman was described as African-American, age 40s to 50s, over 200 pounds, 5-feet-six to 5-feet-eight, with blonde corn rolls tied up in a bun, wearing glasses worn low on the bridge of her nose.

Detectives are investigating.

Nutley PD also logged the following incidents reported between Nov. 15 and 21:

Nov. 15 

Cesar Lazo, 30, of California, was arrested at Kingsland St. and Bloomfield Ave. on a warrant from Belmar. He was transferred to the custody of Belmar PD who, in turn, released him pending a new court date.

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Someone stole a 16G 2nd Generation iPad with a black and red case from a vehicle parked on William St., the victims told police. The victims reported that they left their truck to accept a donation for the Salvation Army and when they returned, the iPad was gone.

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A Daily St. resident reported someone made fraudulent charges totaling about $1,000 on their American Express card. Police advised the resident to check their credit reports and alert their credit card company’s fraud department.

Nov. 16 

A Hillside Ave. resident told police someone pelted their car with eggs while it was parked during the night. Other than the mess, the car wasn’t damaged, the resident said.

Nov. 17 

Multiple police units converged on a Baltimore St. location on a report of a motor vehicle accident where a driver was allegedly trying to get away. When officers arrived, police said they instructed the driver, Roberto Candelaria, 25, of Carteret, to exit but they said he ignored them and displayed combative behavior at HQ. He was charged with possession of marijuana under 50 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia and disorderly conduct and was ticketed for violations of DWI, possession of CDS in a motor vehicle, reckless driving, failure to wear seatbelt and tinted windows. Police said a resident’s fence was damaged and a fire hydrant dislodged as a result of the accident.

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A motor vehicle stop on Franklin Ave. led to the arrest of Emmanuel Ndupu, 62, of Hillside, on an active warrant from Newark. Ndupu was also issued a summons for unregistered vehicle. He was turned over to the custody of Newark PD.

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Police said a phone scam was perpetrated on a Vreeland Ave. resident who got a call from “Team Viewer” warning that their computer was about to crash but that if the resident paid for their services, they could help fix the problem. Police said the resident sent an electronic payment of $399 to “cash” from their checking account but, after checking with police, the resident contacted their bank and managed to stop payment. Police said the resident told them their computer was frozen and could have been hacked. Police advised them to contact a PC repair person.

Nov. 18 

A fraud victim walked into HQ to report that someone had sent $180 by Western Union using their Wells Fargo Visa card. Police said the money was sent and picked up in Chicago but the Visa card never left the victim’s possession. The victim’s bank was advised and a new account number was issued.

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A Lakeside Ave. resident reported that someone stole three street trees from along their driveway. Each tree was valued at $50.

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A resident alerted police to an apparent phone scam. The resident said a man called to say that their brother was involved in an accident and that the resident had to pay for the damages or the caller would kill the brother. Police tried calling back the number provided but it came back as a mailbox not yet set up.

Nov. 19 

A victim of criminal mischief reported to police that when they left Nutley Municipal Court, they noticed a large key mark on the driver’s side of their parked vehicle and suspected that their adversary in court may have been responsible. Police said they observed a fresh key mark from the driver’s side rear door and across the front door. After reviewing surveillance tape where an individual was seen walking alongside the vehicle where the damage occurred, police charged Richard Afflitto, 48, of Nutley, with criminal mischief, requiring a mandatory court appearance.

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A motor vehicle stop on Bloomfield Ave. resulted in the arrest of Christopher Liloia, 26, of Nutley, on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and disorderly person.

Nov. 20 

A Mountainview Ave. resident reported that someone charged their credit card, without authorization, $2,093 for transactions made at a Restaurant Depot at an unknown location. The resident canceled the card.

Nov. 21 

A Charles St. resident reported an identity theft. The resident was notified by Capital One Bank about a possible fraudulent account opened in their name. No charges were made on the account, however.

– Ron Leir 

The Observer Staff