Toms River Man Charged With Hurricane Victim Housing Ripoff
A 46-year-old Toms River resident stands accused of taking $2,500 from a Brick Township mom and daughter seeking a place to live after Hurricane Sandy and handing them keys to a place he didn't own.
Brick Township police say that a photo of Anthony White taken by the victim's suspicious 17-year-old during the transaction led to his arrest. He's charged with theft by deception and awaits a municipal court date.
According to police, the woman placed an ad on Craigslist after her house was knocked off its foundation during the storm. A text she received December 3 advised her of a rental unit on Dogwood Drive. The caller said it was unlocked and invited her to look it over.
Police say that the victim and her daughter met White four days later in the Staples lot on Route 70, and that he introduced himself as Mr. Dublin. She signed a bogus lease, obtained a copy, handed him the cash as a security deposit, and received a set of keys. That, say authorities, is when the plucky teen snapped the image. When they arrived at the space, the keys didn't work.
Detectives learned that White had no stake in the property, that the unit was available on Craigslist through the actual owner, and that a lease had already been signed.
Investigators also uncovered warrants for White amounting to $7,000 from Brick, Toms River and Evesham Municipal Courts, and from Ocean County Superior Court.
He was released on a summons after posting bail in the full amount of the warrants.