ROXBURY, NJ – If karma is real, good things are coming to a Roxbury woman whose initiative returned a Succasunna man's lost wallet and helped police find the youths who stole money from it.
The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said she was in her car outside Valley Pharmacy in Succasunna on New Year’s Eve when the drama began.
“It’s about quarter to three,” she said. “I came out of the pharmacy and got in my car and this little black Honda came out of Richards Avenue and suddenly made a U-turn into a parking place in front of the bagel shop.”
The strange behavior caught the woman’s attention. Then things got more weird.
“The driver hops out of the car and then this other kid gets out of the backseat,” said the woman. “He runs across the street and grabs up the wallet.”
To the disbelief of the good Samaritan, the young man didn’t steal the wallet. “He looked inside, saw the money, just took the money and threw the wallet back on the ground,” she said. “It took them a couple minutes and then they drove away down Route 10.”
A Road Trip Game Comes In Handy
Nobody else around at the time and – because the woman was sitting in her car – she didn't think the cash thief or the Honda driver knew she was watching. They also had no idea the woman, a longtime Roxbury resident, was adept memorizing license plates.
“There was a road trip game I played with my mother in which we’d make up a silly saying with the letters of license plates,” said the woman. “We would make up words to fit the letters.”
Having memorized the Honda’s tag as the car sped down the highway, the woman walked over and picked up the abandoned wallet.
“I flipped it open and saw no driver’s license,” she said. “But there were credit cards and a business card … I saw the owner’s name and his initials were on the wallet, but I didn’t know his address.”
Although it was New Year’s Eve and she had pre-celebration things to do, the woman took the time to drive to Roxbury Police headquarters in Ledgewood. “They took my statement and said they would try to locate the wallet’s owner,” she said.
About 30 minutes later the police phoned the woman to say her information led not only to the wallet’s owner but also to the young men in the Honda.
Case Closed in No Time at All
Roxbury Police Patrolwoman Nicole Sorgie “was able to track down the owner of the wallet” and Roxbury Police Cpl. Anthony Marciano “made contact” with the man, a Succasunna resident, said Roxbury Police spokeswoman Jen Dillard. “The owner did not even know he had lost his wallet,” Dillard noted.
Armed with the memorized license plate information, police also were able to quickly find the black Honda.
“The vehicle was registered to a residence in Succasunna,” Dillard said. “Cpl. Marciano made contact with the individual matching the description the witness gave. He admitted to taking $15 out of the wallet and apologized. He also returned the $15.”
Dillard said the apology ended the incident. “Both are juveniles and were not charged,” she said.
The woman who picked up the wallet said the part of the incident that bothered her most wasn’t the swiping of the money. It was the tossing into the street of the wallet afterward.
“The thing of it is, had they taken the money out of wallet and taken the wallet into the pharmacy and said, `Hey, we just found this wallet out in the street,’ I would have let them slide,” she said. “Anybody who loses a wallet never expects to find it with the cash still in it. It was the fact that they just threw it back on the ground.”
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