Scammer defrauds two Princeton businesses

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A man claiming to be a “fire extinguisher inspector” deceived people at two local businesses and pocketed almost $1,000.

Just before 8 p.m. on March 24, a manager at the Dunkin Donuts on Nassau Street reported that the previous evening, a man tricked him into paying $378 in cash by saying he was a fire extinguisher inspector from Metro Fire Prevention at 1485 State Street in Trenton. He proceeded to “service” their fire extinguishers. He is described as white, bald, 6’2″, and heavy set. He was wearing khaki colored chino pants, a gray polo style shirt, and a black baseball cap.

In a second incident, a man entered Small World Coffee on Witherspoon Street and portrayed himself as a fire extinguisher inspector. The manager on duty said the man asked to inspect the interior fire extinguishers to ensure that they were up to date. He provided two handwritten receipts charging a total of $476.70 for his services, which he collected in cash from the manager. He is described as a heavy-set white male, about six feet tall with brown eyes, and dark hair that was shaved. He was wearing a brown sweatshirt without any markings on it.

The company “Metro Fire Prevention” and the addresses provided are fictitious, police said. Police are still investigating the cases and are asking any other victims of the scam to come forward. IF you have information regarding the scam, contact Det. Sgt. Ben Gering at 609-921-2100, ext. 1840 or Det. Adam Basatemur at 609-921-2100, ext. 2170.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

8 Comments

  1. The managers should have known better. Business do not make hundreds of $$ in cash for payment of any legimate service. Fire inspection services make appointments. Sounds suspicious.

  2. The managers should have known better. Businesses do not make hundreds of $$ in cash payments for any service. Sounds suspicious. Fire inspectors make appointments.

  3. I can’t believe they didn’t ask for ID that would have been clue one when he didn’t produce any identification badges belonging to that company

  4. The real crime was that he paid $2 in meter fees on Witherspoon while pulling these heists.

  5. The real crime is that he probably paid $2 in parking meter fees on Witherspoon while scamming people.

  6. It’s Princeton. Lots of money laying around to make perceived problems go away. Its noo surprise the reaction was to throw hard cash at the first sign of a problem.

  7. I used Kennedy for 26 years, they would call first, but then again I am told I am not welcome in Princeton, so your all on your own! Good luck, and Good bye, I can do better than a town that is not friendly to a person whose been a part of it since birth in ’61!

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