Mountainside Police Department are reporting that they were contacted on September 23 by a senior citizen resident of Buffalo NY regarding bail money she had sent for her granddaughter via FedEx to an address in the Borough.
According to police, she was making an inquiry as to when her granddaughter would be released from police custody once the money was received. Knowing there was no such person in custody, Mountainside Police were able to determine it was an all too common fraud generally perpetrated against senior citizens.
Detectives from the Mountainside Police Dept were able to track the package in the FedEx system which was scheduled for delivery that morning to an unoccupied home listed for sale.
Police stated that Officers then set up a surveillance of the home to await delivery of the package and to observe any actors retrieving it.
After several hours of surveillance, four suspects from Perth Amboy were observed retrieving the package minutes after the driver left it on the porch of the vacant home.
As a result of this investigation, $7800.00 in cash was successfully retrieved and returned to the 67-year-old victim.
The suspects were charged with 3rd Degree Theft by Deception and 3rd Degree Money Laundering.
Police stated that all suspects were released without bail on a summons as per New Jersey Court Rules. The vehicle used in the crime has been seized by police who have filed for forfeiture of the vehicle.
The Mountainside Police urges anyone who receives a call from a family member requiring bail money that you confirm the phone number from the website of the police agency.
An inquiry to the police agency holding the person should be made using the official number before any money is sent.