A peculiar situation has been arising with bike thefts, Lt. Detective Charles Campbell said. Thieves are taking people’s new bikes locked up on streets around Hoboken and leaving older models in their place.
Half a dozen times over the summer, the swap has left bike owners with the wrong set of wheels.
Police are advising residents to register their bike with the Community Policing Unit Officer William James. If recovered, registered bike can be returned to their owners. Contact James at (201) 420-2122.
Department of deception
Police are advising residents not to fall prey to a phone scam routed from a California phone number.
A Hoboken woman was phoned on Tuesday, Aug. 18 from the 559 area code. The man on the other end of the call announced himself as an agent of the “Department of Law and Investigations” looking for information about her outstanding debt.
“He was trying to obtain her personal information,” Campbell said.
The caller asked her to fax a copy of her credit card, front and back.
“Anybody in legitimate practice will not be asking you to provide credit card or PIN numbers,” Campbell said.
In this case, the woman became suspicious, did not supply her information, and contacted police.
Online reports claim the same phone number was used on several occasions to scam other individuals, police said.
Police have not contacted any other law enforcement agencies because there are not yet any victims in Hoboken.
Benchmarked and duffel bagged
Police said the summer months have been relatively quiet, but there have been some “lackadaisical” crimes.
On Sunday, Aug. 16, a Jersey City woman left her purse on a park bench on the 500 block of Sinatra Drive. When she realized she was without it, she headed back to find five or six men surrounding the bench.
The purse was gone and none of the men was holding the purse, the woman told police. No other suspects were found.
Police said a similar situation happened when a man’s duffel bag was taken while he played basketball at Church Square Park recently.
On the house
A man was arrested after allegedly looting three different liquor stores in Hoboken over a few days.
Police arrested Ricardo Burgus, 46, Hoboken, on Tuesday, Aug. 18 on the 300 block of Jackson Street.
Burgus was not carrying any alcohol at the time of his arrest and police said no property has been recovered yet.
Campbell said police used eyewitness accounts and a subsequent investigation to find Burgus. He was charged with three counts of shoplifting.