Resident nearly bilked of $4K: NPD

A Nutley resident was nearly bilked of $4,000 — but some quick thinking saved him from sending a scam artist the cash. Police said the victim answered a call Jan. 7 from an unknown man who told him his grandson had been in a car crash and had been arrested for using his cell phone. The grandson’s “bail” was $4,000 — and the victim was told to go to a CVS to purchase gift cards to use to pay the bail. Thing is, the victim called his grandson and found out he had neither been in a car crash nor had been arrested. The victim told police he was aware the call was fraudulent, but wanted it documented in a police report.

Nutley Police Chief Thomas Strumolo reminds residents to never provide personal information — or to send money — without first verifying the authenticity of a caller. In most cases, it’s a scam. Meanwhile, the NPD released the following reports of incidents that took place between Jan. 2 and Jan. 8:

Jan. 2 

• An East White Terrace resident told police his iPhone, which earlier in the day had been delivered by UPS and left on his porch, was stolen. The phone was valued at $600.

• Adam Ultimo, 31, of Blairstown, was arrested on Park Ave. and charged with possession of CDS under 50 grams and was issued a ticket for having tinted windows. Police said they pulled Ultimo over for the tinted windows and later discovered the CDS. Ultimo was released on his own recognizance, pending court.

Jan. 4 

Andrew O’Donnell, 29, of Lyndhurst, was arrested at a Harrison St. business and charged with shoplifting. Police said the store’s manager identified O’Donnell as a man who had taken six items totaling $129. When police arrived at the store, they said they found O’Donnell waiting for them near a cash register. When O’Donnell emptied his pockets, police said they found the six items. O’Donnell was released on his own recognizance, pending court.

Jan. 5 

A Hancox Ave. resident’s car window was damaged. Police said the victim told them the window shattered after the car warmed up. There was no other damage to the car.

Jan. 8 

• Frank Zoppi, 47, of Nutley, was arrested on Washington Ave. and charged with making terroristic threats and burglary. Zoppi had been in a dispute with another man, leading to his arrest, the NPD said. Zoppi was released on his own recognizance, pending court.

• Michael Veltri, 32, of Belleville, was arrested on an outstanding Newark warrant. Newark police released Veltri on his own recognizance and issued him a new court date.

Editor’s note: Did you know you can text crime tips directly to the NPD? Simply text NPDTIP and the tip itself to 274637. Be as specific as you can in your tip. Ex: “NPDTIP A man was selling CDs at Franklin Ave. and Chestnut St. He’s wearing a white shirt and blue jeans and is there, usually, between 2 and 3 p.m. weekdays.” Remember: All tips will remain anonymous. 

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, an organization he has served since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and X, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to Kearny to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.