Residents in the township continue to fall victim to fraudsters, including a woman who believed she needed to buy $3,000 in new medical equipment to get hired for a new job, the Nutley Police Department announced.
On April 13, police said the victim received an email informing her she was hired for a new job in the medical field. However, in order to start working, the victim would receive a check from the new “company” for $2,964.85.
Police said she was instructed to deposit the check in her own personal account — she did — and then send the cash for the equipment using Western Union [she did that, too].
Unfortunately, the victim’s bank, police said, called her not too long after she made the Western Union transaction to let her know her account was overdrawn by nearly $2,400.
After doing some research after the fraudulent transaction, the victim told police she learned the “company” involved — called Accretive Health — was part of an already-known scam.
The victim said she had to file a police report for her bank to document the alleged fraud.
Meanwhile, the NPD released the following reports of incidents that took place between April 9 and April 15:
- A Whitford Ave. resident reported an attempted burglary. NPD directed officers to the area. Upon arrival, officers said they observed an open door and minor damage on the door tape near the dead bolt lock. Additional officers arrived on scene to clear the residence. The owners were contacted and responded back to the residence to find nothing taken.
- A motor vehicle stop on Bloomfield Ave. resulted in the arrest of Christie Lukasiewicz, 28, of Nutley, on an active Newark warrant. Lukasiewicz was transported to HQ without incident and was unable to post the appropriate bail. Newark was contacted and they approved releasing Lukasiewicz on her own recognizance with a new court date.
- A motor vehicle stop on River Road resulted in the arrest of Solomon Thomas, 41, of Bayonne, on active warrants out of Roselle and Basking Ridge. He was transported to NPD HQ without incident and was able to post the appropriate bail for each warrant. Thomas was released after receiving a Nutley ticket for having unclear license plates.
- Headquarters received a call of two suspicious vehicles on Park Drive. Both parties were seated in the same vehicle when officers arrived. After a brief interview, it was determined one of the parties, Anthony Johnson, 30, of Paterson, was wanted by the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office. He was taken into custody and transported to HQ without incident. The Bergen County Sheriff’s Office responded to take custody of Johnson
- Officers were dispatched to Nichols Park — near the water falls — and observed graffiti on a wall in yellow and orange spray paint. Additionally, there was a lot of other graffiti on the railings of the foot bridge with vulgar comments in magic marker — and some graffiti in yellow spray paint.
- Headquarters received a call of a burglary on Highfield Lane and units were directed to the area. Officers observed the top half of the double door located on the side of the garage was broken. Additionally, the front driver-side door to the victim’s vehicle in the garage was found opened. The victims were not sure if anything was taken from the garage or vehicle. The top half of the side garage door appeared to be pushed in and the frame had no pry marks or damage. The vehicle door did not have any damage and the door was likely left unlocked. The victims were advised to contact HQ should they notice anything missing from the garage.
- A motor vehicle stop on E. Passaic Ave. resulted in the arrest of Tiffany Cetrulo, 18, of Nutley, on an outstanding Bloomfield warrant. Cetrulo we transported to HQ without incident, Bloomfield was contacted and requested Cetrulo be transported to their jurisdiction. She was issued Nutley summonses for obstructed view and driving while suspended and advised of her Nutley Court dates before the transfer to Bloomfield.
- A victim came into the NPD HQ report fraud. The victim said approximately two month ago, he received a letter from the IRS advising him of an issue with a business linked to his Discover Card. However, the victim doesn’t own a business, nor do he have a Discover Card. Discover was contacted and they started a fraud investigation and additionally, the victim enrolled in a credit-reporting identity theft-prevention program. The victim declined entry into the NCIC as an identity-theft victim.
- Officers responded to Chase St. to take a report of a theft of a St. Anthony taken from the resident’s front lawn. The estimated value of the statue is $100. The victim was advised of their right to sign a complaint with the Nutley Court should thief become known. This is the sixth known religious statue known to have been stolen in the township since Jan. 1.
- A vehicle parked on Park Ave. sustained damage to its front windshield. There was a lacrosse practice going on in the area at the time — and officers said the damage was consistent with a lacrosse ball striking the windshield.
- Justin Rosamilia, 27, of Nutley, was arrested on Prospect St. on an outstanding Clifton warrant. He was transported to HQ without incident, paid appropriate bail and was released.
- Police received a walk-in report of damage to a victim’s passenger-side vehicle mirror. Damage was estimated at $250.
- A theft on Franklin Ave. was reported to police. The victim said his bike was taken from the side of a Franklin Ave. building — and when he noticed it missing, he drove around in a vehicle to see if he could locate it. While driving close to the Belleville border, the victim said he observed a Hispanic man in his 20s wearing a white T-shirt riding the bike. As he approached the guy on the stolen bike, the suspect got off and ran south on Franklin Ave. The victim didn’t continue to chase the suspect, but did take his bike back from where the thief left it.
- A motor vehicle stop on Centre St. led to the arrest of Joseph Randazzo, 28, of Nutley, on an outstanding Cedar Grove warrant. Randazzo was transported to HQ without incident. Randazzo was released on his own recognizance by Cedar Grove with a new court date and he was issued a Nutley summons for failing to inspect his vehicle.
- A River Road resident reported a package that was expected to be delivered had gone missing. Two other packages were also missing from previous deliveries that had all been marked as “delivered” by the Post Office. The merchandise was valued at approximately $41.
The victim of suspected fraudulent credit activity responded to HQ to report it. The suspect allegedly made several purchases for cell phones and iPads on the victim’s Sprint account, estimated at $2,800. The financial institution was contacted and will investigate. A police report was required for Sprint to open its investigation.
Officers dispatched to Cook Road took a report of a theft. Some 28 batteries — valued at $500 — were stolen from an AT&T cell tower in the area. The premises were found unlocked and five locks with passcodes were missing. The batteries weigh approximately 119 pounds each. New locks have since been installed.
— Kevin Canessa Jr.
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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off 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 Facebook Live, 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 West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.