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New York men wanted after Ocean County phone scam

New York men wanted after Ocean County phone scam

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Authorities are searching for two Bronx, New York, men they say used a phone scam to steal money from an elderly Barnegat Township woman.

Jorge Peguero-Mendez, 34, and Richard Quinones-Perez, 24, are each charged with theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception. Both are on the run and have outstanding warrants, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer and Barnegat Township police Chief Keith Germain said Thursday in a news release.

Authorities said the woman received a call from a man claiming to be her grandson, saying he was arrested in New York City after causing a motor vehicle crash that injured another driver.

A second caller, identifying himself as the grandson’s lawyer, said he could be released from jail on an $8,000 bond, which the elderly woman agreed to pay. She was later met by an individual claiming to be a courier, to whom she gave the money.

She later discovered through her family that the incident never happened, authorities said.

“These types of incidents should serve as a cautionary tale for all of our senior citizens here in Ocean County, as well as a reminder that unscrupulous individuals are out there just waiting to prey upon the most vulnerable members of our community,” Billhimer said, urging the public to report suspected fraud.

An investigation determined similar claims were made in Hopewell Township, Mercer County, and Nassau County, New York. Peguero-Mendez and Quinones-Perez were later identified as the suspects, authorities said.

Anyone who believes the men scammed them or knows of their whereabouts can call Barnegat Officer Robert Armstrong at 609-698-5000.

Contact Eric Conklin:


Twitter @ACPressConklin


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