Princeton Police Blotter: Stolen Range Rover, grandparent scam, check cashing fraud, bike thefts and more

A Scribner Court resident fell victim to the grandparent scam, and was tricked out of $37,000. The “grandparent scam” deliberately targets older people. Scammers call claiming to be a family member in serious trouble and in need of money immediately. The scammer might say he’s stranded or has been mugged, and call in the middle of the night to add to the urgency and confusion. Once the money is wired, the victim later finds out that it wasn’t their grandchild they were helping, it was a criminal. The scam was reported to the police on July 31.

The manager of a car rental agency located on the 800 block of State Road figured out recently that on May 14, someone used fake identification to rent a 2019 black Range Rover from the agency and then failed to return the vehicle. The company discovered that the i.d. was fake when the manager tried to contact the “renter.” The incident was reported to the police on July 29.

A Grover Avenue resident reported that on July 12, someone forged a
check they had written for $420, which was meant for their landscaper. The check was stolen, a new name was inserted, and the amount was changed to $26,760. The victim told Planet Princeton the check was dropped into an old and rusted US. Mail Box at the Princeton Shopping Center. “I would urge everybody not to use this particularly antique mailbox if they plan on sending checks,” the resident told Planet Princeton.

On July 31 just before 10 p.m., police responded to the 5200 block of Province Line Road for a noise complaint and located numerous people fleeing a home that was supposed to be unoccupied. A 21-year-old resident of Carter Road in Princeton and an 18-year-old resident of Titusville were apprehended by police and arrested. Both were later released with summonses.

On Aug. 1 , police stopped a driver for driving the wrong way on John Street, which is a one-way street. Police discovered that the passenger in the vehicle, a 16-year-old West Windsor resident, was in possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana. He was also in possession of THC oil, drug paraphernalia, a scale, and a large quantity of cash. He was arrested and later released to his parent.

A Mercer Street resident reported on July 22 that someone stole a check the resident had written and altered the amount from $1,000 to $24,000. The person then allegedly deposited the check into an account, causing a $24,000 deficit in the victim’s account.

On July 23, a resident of Leigh Avenue reported that sometime between about 6:30 p.m. on July 21 and 9 p.m. on July 22, someone stole a package from their front porch that had been delivered. The package was valued at about $28.

A 30-year-old resident of Leigh Avenue was charged with harassment for allegedly staring lecherously at a 14-year-old girl on numerous occasions. The victim reported that the man was looking her body up and down whenever they encountered each other walking on Leigh Avenue. Further investigation by police resulted in the man being arrested, taken to police headquarters, processed and released on a summons with a pending court date.

A resident of Mansgrove Road was tricked into giving someone $13,500. On July 23, the resident told police that a person pretending to be an Apple employee called and said the resident’s IP address had been hacked. The caller then deceived the victim into giving the caller $13,500 worth of
pre-paid Game Stop and Google Play card codes.

On July 24, a 35-year-old North Brunswick resident was arrested for possession of marijuana under 50 grams subsequent to a motor vehicle stop for speeding. He was arrested and later released with a summons.

A Moore Street resident reported to police on July 25 that some time between June 29 and July 19, someone forged one of their checks and cashed it. Police did not say what the dollar amount was. The victim was reimbursed by the bank for the loss.

On July 25, a John Street resident reported that at about 4 p.m. that day, a man stole the resident’s gray and purple Cannondale bicycle from the front porch of the resident’s home. The suspect, seen on surveillance cameras, was a black male in his thirties wearing a black hat, a black shirt, and a chain around his neck.

A woman entered a store on Hulfish Street on July 26 at noon and stole two items totaling $19.98. Surveillance video showed that the woman was a white female and was about 30 years old. She was dressed in a straw sun hat and a dark-colored long dress.

On July 27, police received a report that someone was drawing graffiti on private property on Park Place. A 30-year-old Somerset man was issued a complaint for criminal mischief.

A Ewing Street resident reported to police on July 28 that someone fraudulently charged $175.32 to a credit card on July 10.

On July 28, a woman reported that her son’s bicycle was stolen from
the front of 76 Nassau Street around 3:15 p.m. The bicycle was not locked. The bike is a black and yellow GT Fury World Cup mountain bike.

A resident of the 500 block of Mt. Lucas Road reported that on July 18, a computer was hacked, and the victim lost $309.99 due to the incident.

A 61-year-old Leigh Avenue resident was arrested for shoplifting at McCaffrey’s supermarket on July 16. The assistant store manager said the resident had placed numerous items from the store into her bag and attempted to leave the store without paying for them. The resident was arrested, taken to police headquarters, processed and released with a pending court date.

Police received a call about an erratic driver on the 200 block of Washington Road just after 5 a.m. on July 19. A 30-year-old Logan Township resident was arrested for driving while intoxicated after failing a series of sobriety tests. He was transported to police headquarters, where he was processed, issued several motor vehicle summonses, and given a court date. He was then released to a sober adult.

A man reported on July 20 that his silver Fuji Crosstown bicycle, valued at $588.35, was stolen from the bike rack in the rear of 25 Spring Street.

A resident of David Brearly Court reported on July 20 that someone fraudulently bought $2,402.73 in items from the BJ’s Wholesale located in Edison using his bank account information.

On July 21 just before 1 p.m., police received a report about a disabled vehicle on Mt. Lucas Road. Police responded and found that both occupants of the vehicle, two 29-year-old Philadelphia residents, were in possession of marijuana. The driver was also in possession of a Ruger SR9, 9mm
handgun that contained 9mm hollow nose bullets and a high capacity
magazine. Both men were placed under arrest and transported to police headquarters, where they were processed. The passenger was issued a summons with a pending court date and was released, while the driver was charged on a warrant and transported to the Mercer County Corrections Facility.

On July 22, a man reported that someone removed his daughter’s bicycle form The Princeton Public Library bicycle rack on Sylvia Beach Way. The man said that upon inquiring with the library staff regarding his daughter’s bicycle, he was advised that the library had obtained video footage of the bicycle theft incident. The bicycle was later recovered and returned to the victim. The police arrested a juvenile after discovering the juvenile with several unattended bicycles on the ground, including the bicycle that was reported stolen. The juvenile was charged with theft, possession of stolen property, and juvenile delinquency. The juvenile was processed and released to a relative.

Someone stole credit cards from a secured gym locker at the Y on Paul Robeson Place around 4 p.m. on July 18. The credit cards were then used to make purchases in the surrounding area.

On July 18, police responded to an activated burglar alarm at Princeton High School, and then discovered an 18-year-old Princeton resident and an 18-year-old Lawrenceville resident inside the school. Both were placed under arrest and charged with burglary, theft, and possession of burglary tools. They were released on their own recognizance.

A Lafayette Road West resident reported that on July 17, someone entered
the property without the owner’s permission and damaged different areas
of the residence. The cost of the damage is unknown.

A resident of the 800 block of Mt. Lucas Road reported to the police on July 16 that on July 9, someone cashed a forged check from the victim’s account in the amount of $3,000, and reportedly used fraudulent identification to cash the check at the bank branch.

Police responded to the 500 block of Ridgeview Road July 16 because of a business dispute. A 54-year-old Lambertville man and a 24-year-old Trenton man who were there were both found to have active warrants for their arrest. The Trenton man was placed under arrest and turned over to Montgomery police. The Lambertville man was placed under arrest and later released on his own recognizance by the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department.

On July 15, a resident of the 1000 Block of Princeton-Kingston Road reported that some time between July 11 and July 13, someone entered the resident’s garage and stole a leaf blower valued at $220. The victim had surveillance footage of the person prowling on their property. Detectives arrested a 57-year-old New Brunswick man in the case and he was taken to the Middlesex County Correctional Facility.

A store manager at a shop on Nassau Street reported that on July 14, a black male stole a bottle of cologne from the store as well as an employee’s cell phone that had been left on the counter. The cologne was valued at $95 and the phone was valued at $60.

A store manager at a Nassau Street shop reported that an older, heavyset white male with facial hair stole a sport coat from the store valued at $895. The suspect then exited the store and headed east on Nassau Street.

A resident of the 900 Block of Princeton-Kingston Road reported on July 14 that sometime in the previous week, someone entered the resident’s unlocked garage and stole a black Trek mountain bicycle. The bicycle and attached lock were valued at $485.

A Lawrence resident who was in Princeton called police on the 9-1-1 line to report an unlicensed driver. The caller himself was found to be a New Jersey wanted person for nonpayment of child support. The 38-year-old man was arrested and transported to the Mercer County Correctional Center.

On July 13, a 54-year-old Hillsborough resident was pulled over just after 1 a.m. for speeding and failing to maintain lane. The driver was found to be
driving while intoxicated. He was placed under arrest and later released
with several summonses.

Please share your thoughts on this story.

1 comment
  • I hope that the police have changed their policy. In today’s world, it’s difficult to recover from mistakes.

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