Police Beat

Resident scammed out of Maine vacation rental

No lobster for you!
A Hoboken resident looking forward to a relaxing week on the Maine waterfront told authorities he was scammed out of almost $1,500 last week after the homeowner he thought he was renting from turned out to be a fraud, according to a police report.
According to the report, the man found the property on VRBO.com, a website that allows homeowners to advertise their houses as vacation rentals, and contacted its owner via email.
The victim booked the house, supposedly located in Northeast Harbor, Maine, for eight nights at a price of $1,463. After speaking by phone with the supposed owner, who said his name was Tim, the victim signed a lease and wire transferred the money to the man’s account, said the report.
The cost was broken down by rental ($900), security deposits ($500) and state tax fees ($63), the report said.
As the date of the vacation (this week) approached, the victim began to feel nervous after having not heard from Tim, and contacted VRBO.com to see if they could verify the property and its owner. The company confirmed that the property was fake, the report said, and advised him to cancel the transaction with his credit card company.
The victim also filed a complaint with the U.S. Secret Service branch in Newark.

Did husband’s phone call cause accidental shoplifting?

King’s Supermarkets pressed shoplifting charges against a 57-year-old Hoboken woman on Tuesday night after the woman allegedly walked out of the store without paying for nearly $230 of merchandise, according to a police report. The woman claimed innocence on the grounds that she received a disturbing phone call from her husband and left without realizing she hadn’t paid, but the store pressed charges anyway.
According to a report, around 7 p.m. on Tuesday, the store’s loss prevention officer noticed her walking around the store quickly placing items into canvas bags, before leaving suddenly. He tracked her to the corner of Hudson Street and 13th Street, where he confronted her and she agreed to willingly return to the store, the report said.
When police arrived, said the report, the woman claimed that she had planned to pay for the items, before she was pulled from reality by an upsetting phone call from her husband. She said she had to leave to fix the problem and forgot to pay, but claimed that she was on her way back having realized her mistake.
Police officers on the scene verified that she received a phone call from her husband around the same time she left the store, and also took note of a shopping receipt she provided proving she had shopped at King’s earlier that day, and had paid for her purchases.

Chinese food delivery man assaulted

A delivery man for a local Chinese restaurant called police on Tuesday to report that upon exiting a Harrison Street building where he’d just dropped off an order, two men allegedly attacked him in the lobby.
The delivery man arrived at 318 Harrison St. around 3:35 p.m. on Tuesday, and made his delivery to a second floor apartment.
When he walked down the stairs to the building’s exit, the report said, his way was blocked by two men, one white and one black. One of them allegedly pushed him against the wall and began to choke him with his forearm, while the other hit him in the side of the head.
As the struggle continued, the report said, the delivery man was able to free himself and ran out of the door. His alleged attackers did not pursue him, said the report, and police conducted a search of the building, including knocking on doors, in a fruitless attempt to locate them.

Two bikes stolen from Bloomfield Street garage

A woman came to the Hoboken Police Department on Monday to report that two bikes, belonging to her and her son, had been stolen from where they were locked up in her apartment building’s parking garage, according to a report.
The bikes, worth around a combined $1,100, were locked near the woman’s designated parking space on the sixth floor of a parking garage at 1450 Bloomfield St. After seeing the bikes late Sunday night, the report said, the woman noticed them missing on Monday morning.
The bikes, a silver Bianchi women’s road bike worth $500 and an orange Fuji men’s road bike worth around $600, were taken along with their locks, which were worth an estimated $40.
The woman was unsure if there were security cameras in the garage and did not know the bikes’ serial numbers.

Dean DeChiaro may be reached at deand@hudsonreporter.com

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