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Thieves Steal $5,000 From Saddle Brook Grandmother In 'Gas Emergency' Scam

Anyone who recognizes this man or may have come into contact with him is asked to call Saddle Brook PD: (201) 843-7000 (Ask for Detective Scott Habermann).
Anyone who recognizes this man or may have come into contact with him is asked to call Saddle Brook PD: (201) 843-7000 (Ask for Detective Scott Habermann). Photo Credit: COURTESY: Saddle Brook PD

SADDLE BROOK, N.J. – Police released a sketch Friday night of a heartless thief who they said stole more than $5,000 from a Saddle Brook grandmother using a “gas emergency” scam.

The diversion burglar came to the door of the elderly woman, who lives alone near Westminster Place, late Thursday afternoon and told her he needed to check her basement gas lines immediately, Police Chief Robert Kugler said.

“When the resident began to question the issue, the [thief] quickly showed what appeared to be some sort of a badge identification and reiterated that it was ‘a life or death emergency’ and that he needed to quickly check the gas lines,” he said.

She led him to the basement, where he “pretended to check the gas lines serving the boiler and dryer,” Kugler said. “He then put on the washer and dryer to create noise.

“After several minutes he left.”

Soon after, the victim noticed the dresser drawers and a separate cabinet of her master bedroom in disarray, the chief said.

While the man who came to the door kept her busy, someone else had slipped in, he said.

The man who came to the door was described as middle-aged, light browned-skinned, Hispanic male, wearing jeans, a baseball cap and sunglasses.

Kugler asked that anyone who may have seen something in the area around that time or possibly came into contact with either or both burglar contact his department immediately: (201) 843-7000 (Ask for Detective Scott Habermann).

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