Newtown PD Blotter: Scams, Swastika, & Fraud Investigation

The following has been provided by the Newtown Police Department and covers April 5, 2019 to April 11, 2019

Submitted: Newtown Police Department


April 5th 

Shortly before 8:45 am a Newtown Township resident responded to headquarters to report an encounter that occurred when he used Craig’s List to sell personal property. The complainant explained that after posting furniture for sale on the site, the complainant received several responses. One person implied that he would be sending a cashier’s check, and the complainant received a cashier’s check in the amount of $4,985 shortly thereafter. However, the furniture’s price had been listed as $2,500. The complainant was instructed to deposit the cashier’s check in his bank account and wait for it to clear before returning a check to the sender with the difference. The complainant found this suspicious, and police confirmed that this is a known scam. The purpose of the scam is to launder a worthless check with real currency in return.

At 9:00 am a Newtown Township resident responded to headquarters to report that her personal information was used to apply for credit and to make purchases from AT&T. The victim further explained that her and her husband recently received a bill for the purchase of two Apple iPhones by person(s) unknown to them. The victim immediately disputed the billing, and AT&T intends to cancel the fraudulent account and restore any and all credit issues.

At 10:00 am a Newtown Township resident responded to headquarters to file a report regarding criminal mischief to a construction site in the Village of Newtown Shopping Center. According to the complainant, the night prior she saw the word “Hitler” and a swastika on an orange plastic barrier that had white paint sprayed over it but was still visible. The complainant stated that her friend went and spoke with the foreman at the site, and the foreman turned the barrier around so it was not facing the public.

April 6th  

Just before 2:00 pm police were dispatched to the area of Hanson Quarry for the report of a low hanging wire. Upon arrival, police observed the plastic casing of a wire hanging low and interfering with traffic. Verizon was notified to attend to the issue and to tighten the cable wire to help prevent any further problems.

Police responded to Estates Court around 7:45 pm for a suspicious occurrence. The complainant reported that while on a walk behind his residence, his dog found a pile of bones that appeared to be human. Upon arrival, police checked the area and were shown the bones. It was determined that the bones were that of a deer, and they were found in close proximity to a tree stand.

April 7th 

April 7, 2019 At approximately 12:00 am police were dispatched to a Newtown Township residence for a report of a juvenile operating a family vehicle without consent. Upon arrival, police spoke with both the complainant and the juvenile, and it was determined that the 17 year old juvenile male would be charged with Unauthorized use of vehicle.

Shortly after 7:30 pm police responded to a Newtown Township resident for the report of a juvenile female that was missing. The complainant reported that her 13 year old daughter had taken her bicycle and was supposed to meet her brother at Saint Andrews Church; however, the brother called and said that she had not arrived. Upon arrival, police made contact with the complainant who explained that they located the juvenile and she had made it to the church. April 8, 2019

April 8th

Around 6:30 am patrol was dispatched to the area of Rush Valley Quarry for the report of low hanging wires. Upon arrival, police observed the wires to be low hanging, but not causing a traffic hazard at the time. PECO was advised to respond.

April 10th

Officers conducted a commercial truck detail on the Newtown Bypass at Campus Drive between the hours of 6:30 am until 1:30 pm.  During the detail thirteen trucks were stopped and inspected.  Six vehicles were placed out of service; four for equipment issues and two were due to driver violations.  Ten citations were issued to either the vehicle owner or driver for the associated violations, and twelve warnings were issued.

A Newtown Township resident was contacted after she sent an email to the department regarding a suspicious message left on her phone.  The resident explained to an officer that a male caller left a voice message which included profane and obscene language and provided the phone number for the caller.  The message alleged that her phone number placed a call to his home.  The officer confirmed to her that our department has received other complaints and in fact the scam is called “spoofing” by person(s) unknown.  Police called the person who left the alarming message to explain the scam and advised him that his reaction was inappropriate.

April 11th

At approximately 1:00 pm officers were dispatched to the area of the Acme parking lot for the report of juveniles driving in a white Ford Escape displaying a knife. The vehicle was last reported exiting the parking lot.  Police initiated a traffic stop in Tyler State Park and observed a large hunting knife along with a baseball bat. While all three individuals were being detained, police spoke to the complainant, who said that she felt the need to report the situation, however there was no threat with the knife. Three teens in the car were advised of the seriousness of their actions and release after they agreed with the officer and apologized for their actions.

A resident came to police headquarters shortly before 8:00 pm to report a fraudulent activity that was deemed to be a scam.  The victim told the officer that an order had been placed with Amazon, but not received.  He googled the customer service number for Amazon and initiated a phone call. Through this phone call he was transferred to several different operators until he was connected someone who identified himself as an Amazon finance manager. The victim was told to log onto his computer and allowed access to it by the person on the phone.  The victim provided personal information to the alleged finance manager and while watching his computer he noticed activity involving his bank account.  The victim checked his account and noticed a credit of $5,000.00, since he was still on the phone he questioned the person, he assumed was a representative of Amazon about the credit, and was told he would have to go to a store right now and purchase an Amazon gift card for $5,000.00 to rectify the error.  At this time, it became apparent to the victim that this not a legitimate transaction so he terminated the call.  Police advised the victim to follow up with his bank and to have his computer looked at by a professional to ensure that nobody still has access to it.

Throughout the week several reports of fraud and forgery from Newtown Township and Wrightstown Township residents were received.  An investigation into these reports is ongoing at this time as detectives piece together possible commonalities. As mentioned on CRIMEWATCH, Detectives are asking that our community residents review their credit/debit card statements from over the last couple of months to look for any unauthorized purchases that were made. If unauthorized purchases are found, please contact our police department by using the Bucks County Police Radio non-emergency phone number, 215-598-7121, in order to make a police report.