A 92-year-old Lyndhurst man fell victim to a familiar "gypsy" scam, losing $4,000 to a pair of thieves who claimed that they'd repaired his driveway, authorities said.
Two Massachusetts men, David Standish of Haverhill and Thomas Stanley of Danvers, were arrested by Lyndhurst police with help from their colleagues in North Arlington, Detective Lt. Vincent Auteri said Saturday.
Known also as “travelers,” gypsy con artists move around the East Coast using scams and diversions to get into people’s pocketbooks.
Earlier this month, an elderly Glen Rock couple who came thisclose to losing $18,000 in a "gypsy" roofing scam.
This time, police said, Standish and Stanley approached a 6th Street resident who'd arrange to have his driveway resurfaced by a reputable local company and told him they were "ready to begin work,"
Stanley, who identified himself as "Marion Johnson," charged the elderly victim $4,000, Auteri said, adding that he and Standish ended up spraying a substance that only "ruined the driveway."
The victim's daughter contacted the original business that was hired and discovered the scam. Then police went to work.
Detective Billy Kapp secured home surveillance photos and "other pertinent information" that, combined with tips from social media and other sources, helped identify the suspects, Auteri said.
Lt. Paul Haggerty, Sgt. Geoff Rejent, Detective Chris Cuneo and Officer Angel Batista arrested Standish and Stanley on theft, deceptive business practices and wrongful impersonation charges, the lieutenant said.
Both were processed and then released, pending a hearing, under New Jersey's 2017 bail reform law, he said.
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