ROSELLE – Borough officials are expressing concern about an increased number of police reports of bogus company representatives going door-to-door.
Authorities are concerned that these con artists are dressing in uniforms and identifying themselves as representatives of home alarm companies or meter readers for the water company.
Roselle police Chief Gerard Orlando said these individuals are often casing the homes to see if residents are there and if entry is possible.
In other cases, Orlando said, these suspects ring the doorbell and convince the residents to allow them in. Once granted access to a home, they are taking note of valuables that could be removed at a later time. The more brash criminals are stealing items and tucking them away as they move through the homes.
“Sometimes they go in pairs, with one individual distracting the homeowner while the other is committing burglary,” Orlando said, noting the elderly are often targeted.
“This type of scam is nothing new; it happens in every community,” said Mayor Jamel Holley. “But that doesn’t mean we can or should allow it to happen. I have instructed our police to be on the look-out for these scam artists. If we see people walking from house to house, we will stop them and ask for proper identification. If none can be found, these individuals will be fully investigated and, if there is just cause, prosecuted.”
Orlando noted that canvassers – such as door-to-door salespeople – must obtain a permit from police headquarters as per a borough ordinance. Police secure their name and company information before issuing a badge they must wear as they move through Roselle. If someone approaches a door without a badge, residents should ask to see it.
Holley urged residents to remain vigilant. If the person cannot provide documentation, or if the information provided does not appear accurate, citizens should deny them entry and immediately contact police headquarters. Orlando said a squad car will be promptly dispatched.
“Together, we can send a message to these scam artists that Roselle is not the place for their thievery,” Holley said. “We know their game, and we are doing everything in our power to ensure our neighborhoods remain safe and secure for our residents.”
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