Howell Rental Scam Suspect Sought by Police
A Howell man suspected of conning several families into rental agreements for his home at the same time is on the run, and law enforcement officials are urging you to keep an eye out.
Michael J. Harrold, 46, knows he's wanted and is eluding capture, police said. He's charged with theft by deception, a third-degree count that would mean three to five years in prison if he was to be convicted.
Police said that Harrold sought tenants for his single-family house on Albatross Drive through multiple ads posted at Craigslist. Several families, under the impression that they were the sole tenants, entered into rental agreements and handed Harrold security deposit checks that he cashed, police said.
Harrold listed the home as a four-bedroom in some ads, and as a five-bedroom in others, giving the location variously as "Howell" and "Ramtown," and asking either $1,900 or $2,000 a month for rent, police said.
Economic Crimes investigators of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office are also involved in the hunt for Harrold. Howell Township police urge anyone who knows his whereabouts to reach them at 732-938-4111.