Where’s Hollywood? Florida resident wanted for scamming elderly Barnegat, New Jersey man
Billy Joel once had a hit song "Say Goodbye To Hollywood" but law enforcement in Ocean County is hoping a man from that town surfaces again at the Jersey Shore.
A man who resides in Hollywood, Florida is wanted by Barnegat Police and the Ocean County Prosecutors Office for allegedly scamming an elderly man out of $10,000.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer and Barnegat Police Chief Keith Germain announced Tuesday that Juan C. Piedrahita, 49, has been charged with Theft by Deception.
However, Piedrahita is on the run.
He was charged after posing as an attorney where he called a Barnegat man and told him that his nephew was arrested after being in an accident and he needed $10,000 to secure his bail.
The two men met, with Piedrahita posing as a courier, in the parking lot of the CVS in Barnegat.
Not long afterwards, the victim was called again, and asked to submit another $10,000 for his nephew.
The victim was then questioned by his own bank staff and at that point he contacted his nephew and confirmed that his nephew was not in actual trouble.
Detectives obtained surveillance footage of the area surrounding the CVS parking lot, which captured the rental vehicle Piedrahita had rented at Newark International Airport, and they were then able to confirm Piedrahita was the man responsible for the scam.
His location is presently unknown and a Warrant for his arrest has been issued.
Anyone who knows where he is, should contact Detective James Purcell of the Barnegat Township Police Department at 609-698-5000, extension 262.
“Sadly, these types of scams targeting senior citizens are all too prevalent in Ocean County,” Prosecutor Billhimer said in a statement.“I urge our residents to speak with their elderly family members about potential scams that target seniors, so as to prevent them from falling victim to predators seeking to cheat and extort them,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.
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