Two out-of-state thieves who illegally collected nearly $55,000 by purchasing 61 money orders at post offices throughout New Jersey in a single day were thwarted by newly-appointed Rochelle Park Police Chief Dean Pinto, authorities said.
Pinto, who officially becomes chief this Saturday, was waiting on line at the borough post office Thursday when he saw one of the suspects buy a $1,000 money order with an apparent gift card.
Appearing surprised that the transaction went through, the suspect requested another $1,000 money order.
Pinto discreetly notified detectives, who stopped the pair.
They found the men carrying six Walmart green dot debit cards and 61 money orders all bought Thursday at post offices throughout the state, Detective Sgt. James M. DePreta said.
The total: $55,155.
Detectives, assisted by the U.S. Postal Inspectors, discovered that the debit cards were purchased with $20 balances and then uploaded with up to $14,000 in fraudulently obtained currency, DePreta said.
The proceeds were to be sent to a third party reportedly in Nigeria, the sergeant said.
Olutola Mebude, 23 of Windsor Mill, MD, and Bolarinwa Mesioye, 24, of Atlanta, GA, were charged with theft by deception, receiving stolen property and possession of property derived from criminal activity.
Both were released pending first appearances in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack.
An investigation was continuing.
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