Beware Bogus Collectors
Plainsboro Police are warning residents to watch out for an apparent phone and e-mail scam by a bogus collections agency.
Office Arthur Gant said that the bogus collectors will try to get victims to give them their social security number and other personal information, in addition to claiming their victims owe for thousands of dollars in debt.
On August 5, police were tipped off by a resident who said he had been receiving harassing e-mails and phone calls from “USA Cash Services/U.S. Legal Services” claiming that he owed several thousand dollars to a collection agency. Collectors demanded various payment amounts for different loans and threatened the victim with legal action, including coming to his home to arresting him.
According to Gant, the company claims it is affiliated with Fast Cash USA and USA Cash Services. “The number requested that you call is 914-908-4255. This company also leaves a message requesting you call immediately or legal action will be taken. They are sending multiple e-mails to victims advising that they are in default of loans.”
Investigation revealed that the people responsible for this scam are believed to be responsible for a similar scam last March. The company name used then was “Legal and General Group.” They claimed that they were affiliated with “Advance America Cash Advance.”
E-mail Accessed. A resident of Tamarron Drive was the victim of an e-crime on August 5. Police said someone logged into the victim’s email account at 5:06 a.m., and sent out e-mails to the victim’s contacts requesting money to help pay for a trip home overseas. The email appeared to come from the victim.
Bike Theft Arrest. Two 15-year-old Plainsboro males were charged with stealing a bicycle from a Deer Creek Drive resident on August 8. Police said an investigation into a report of a stolen black Hyperbikeco valued at $99.97 led to the arrest of the two teens. Both were charged with theft and defiant trespassing. One of the teens was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
Fire. A family on Lovell Drive was displaced by an early morning fire on August 3.
Officer Kevin Lowery said Plainsboro fire, emergency, and police crews were called to 11 Lovell Drive around 3:56 a.m. for the structure fire and saw smoke and flames coming from the rear of the home. Emergency crews ensured that all family members were out of the house.
The fire department knocked down the main fire and began searching for extension into the other parts of the structure. The fire was eventually extinguished with limited damage to the main part of the home. The American Red Cross responded to the scene to help relocate and offer assistance to the family of four adults and two children. The Plainsboro Fire Marshal also responded to the scene and did not find it to be suspicious.
Gas Leak. A gas leak occurred at the Plainsboro Municipal Building around 2:35 p.m. on August 4. According to Officer Daniel Kanaley, Plainsboro fire, emergency, and police crews as well as crews from PSE&G responded to the municipal building. Kanaley said an employee of the contracted construction company that was working on renovations to the municipal grounds accidentally severed a 2-inch gas main while attempting to dig with a backhoe. The scene was secured until PSE&G arrived. There were no injuries reported, and all departments cleared the scene without further incident, he said.
Attempted Burglary. A resident of Woodland Drive was the victim of attempted burglary at 12:21 a.m. on July 24. Officer Arthur Gant said the resident reported that a window in his home appeared to be damaged. He also found that his rear sliding glass door was broken and shattered, and the screen door was ripped open, said Gant. The screen for a separate rear window was also cut open. The estimated damage is $1,500. The suspect was unable to get inside the home.
Defiant Trespass. Cesar Chocco, 23, of New Brunswick; Juan Barrientos, 21, of Cranbury; and four juveniles were charged July 21 with defiant trespass. Corporal Robert Fleming said he was called to the Ravens Crest Apartments pool on a report that there were swimmers in the closed pool. Fleming said he found the swimmers jumped the fence surrounding the pool and went swimming.
The four juveniles — a 16-year-old Plainsboro female, a 12-year-old Plainsboro male, a 16-year-old Hightstown female, and a 9-year-old Hightstown male — were issued verbal warnings and released to a guardian, while the adults were charged with defiant trespass.
Identity Theft/Credit Card Fraud. A Plainsboro resident was the victim of credit card theft. Officer Arthur Gant said someone stole the victim’s debit/credit card number and used it at several online locations. The suspect was able to purchase $211.28 worth of items.
A resident of Ravens Crest Drive was the victim of theft on July 27. Officer Joseph Bolognese said someone used the resident’s bank card information to make several fraudulent purchases. The transactions included bank withdrawals and several debit charges within New York City. The total money lost was $11,367.65.
Some $2,046 in illegal purchases were charged to a Quail Ridge Drive resident’s credit card between June 1 and August 5. According to police, all of the purchases were made online.
Criminal Mischief. A Ravens Crest Drive resident was the victim of criminal mischief between noon and 3 p.m. on July 22. Officer Daniel Kanaley said someone scratched the victim’s car several times on the driver side and once on the passenger’s side.
Someone threw 75 pool-side chairs, 10 pool-side tables, seven umbrellas, and one lifeguard stand into the Gentry Homeowner Association’s pool between July 12 and 23. The estimated damage is $1,200, said Officer Timothy McMahon.
Harassment. A Ravens Crest Drive resident was the victim of harassment on August 3. Officer Kevin Lowery said someone followed the female victim while she was walking her dog and repeatedly attempted to engage in conversation despite being asked to leave her alone. Then the suspect waited outside her apartment before knocking on her sliding glass door. He was again told to leave the area by the victim’s boyfriend and eventually did after he was told the police were called. Lowery said officers found the suspect and told him that the victim may sign complaints against him. They told him not to return to her residence.
Hindering Apprehension. Donald Martin, 53, of Newark, was charged August 2 with hindering apprehension. Sergeant John Bresnen said he stopped him on Route 1 North for speeding. He said Martin gave him a false name in an attempt to conceal his identity. He was also charged with speeding and being an unlicensed driver. He was sent to the Middlesex County jail in default of $1,500.
Auto Theft. An employee at 600 College Road East was the victim of auto theft on July 26 between 8:45 a.m. and 5 p.m. on July 26. Officer Daniel Kanaley said someone stole the victim’s car, worth $15,000, from the parking lot.
Burglary/Theft. Sarah Palmer, 22, of Hampshire Drive in Plainsboro, was charged July 29 with theft. Detective Joseph Breyta said that the incident occurred on March 25, when a Hampshire Drive resident reported a theft from her residence. He said that through investigation, police determined Palmer stole approximately $11,800 from the victim. She was charged and arrested in Trenton and sent to the Middlesex County jail in default of $20,000 bail. The jewelry she allegedly stole was recovered and being held until the case has concluded, said Breyta.
A resident of Scotts Corner Road was the victim of theft on July 29. Officer McCall said the resident’s Dell laptop computer was stolen from an unlocked car parked in front of the victim’s residence. The computer was worth $1,900.
Between April and August, someone removed a Generac GP5500 power washer from a storage closet on Hunters Glen Drive. The power washer was worth approximately $1,200.
A resident of Ravens Crest Drive was the victim of theft between June 25 and July 1, the victim reported to police on July 24. Officer Mathieu Baumann said someone stole the victim’s Macbook computer from inside his residence some time between June 25 and July 1. The Macbook is worth $1,250. There was no forced entry into the residence.
A resident of Stults Drive was the victim of theft between July 23 and 24. Someone stole a reflective green “slow down” sign near their residence, said Sergeant Scott Seitz. The sign was worth $50.
Someone stole copper wires, copper tubing, and an air conditioning unit from a fenced-in area of Building 1600 Ravens Crest Drive some time between June 24 and July 27. Sergeant John Bresnen said much of the copper wires were already installed and were removed from the walls by the suspect. Building 1600 Ravens Crest Drive was involved in a fire last December, which rendered the building uninhabitable. It has been under construction since. The items were found missing by the contractors on July 27.
A parent of a Montessori Day School student was the victim of theft on July 26. Officer Daniel Kanaley said someone stole the victim’s purse and other items from her unlocked car while she was inside the school, located on Grovers Mill Road. Kanaley said the purse contained several credit cards, documents, and personal items. The total value of the items stolen was approximately $1,075, along with several credit cards.
Someone stole the rear license plate from the car belonging to a Trenton resident while the car was parked in the rear of Town Center Elementary School on July 26. Officer Adam Wurpel said the license plate was worth $106.
Someone stole a black iPhone 4 16GB from the office of an employee at Pharmasset on College Road East between July 13 and 19, said Officer Richard Wolak. The value of the iPhone was $700.
A resident of Mifflin Court was the victim of theft on July 20. Corporal Brett Olma said someone stole his trash can from the curb in front of his home sometime between 8 a.m. and noon. The trash can was worth $150.
A resident of Hunters Glen Drive was the victim of burglary and theft between 5:30 and 9 p.m. on June 17. Officer Timothy McMahon said someone stole an iPod Touch and three Xbox video games from within the home. The total value of the stolen property is estimated to be $480.
Drug Arrest. Giovanni Alexander 23, of Thoreau Drive was arrested August 9 on drug possession charges. Police said Alexander was stopped on Aspen Drive at 12:26 a.m. for erratic driving and a broken brake light. He was found to be in possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and a prescription drug, said Officer Daniel Kanaley.
DWI Arrests. Kyle D. Antoine, 22, of Woodbridge, was charged August 3 with driving while intoxicated. Officer Thomas Larity said he was called to Route 1 North at Sayre Drive for a disabled car and found he was parked in the left turn lane of the off ramp with his brake lights applied. He said he approached the vehicle and found him to be unresponsive. Plainsboro EMS was called to the scene and found him to be intoxicated, he said. He was sent to the University Medical Center of Princeton for further evaluation. He was also charged with reckless driving, careless driving, failure to exhibit registration, being an uninsured motorist, maintenance of lamps, unsafe vehicle, and delaying traffic.
Jeffrey Ransom, 49, of Montclair, was charged July 28 with driving while intoxicated. Officer Arthur Gant said he stopped him on Route 1 North for speeding and found him to be intoxicated. He said Ransom provided false information to try to hide his identity because he also had several warrants for his arrest. He was also charged with falsifying records, forgery, obstruction, hindering apprehension, and providing law enforcement with false information, as well as driving while suspended, reckless driving, speeding, failure to maintain a lane, and failure to exhibit documents. He was sent to the Middlesex County jail.
Nirav S. Pandya, 25, of Monroe, was charged July 24 with driving while intoxicated. Officer Kevin Lowery said he saw him driving on Dey Road without dimming his high beams to oncoming traffic. He said he stopped him and found him to be intoxicated. He was also charged with reckless driving and failure to lower high beams.
Paul M. Moran, 28, of Florence was arrested August 6 on a drunk driving charge. Police said Moran, who was driving a 2005 Nissan Altima, was stopped on College Road West for tailgating and erratic driving and found to be intoxicated.