BAYONNE, NJ - Bayonne Police are warning residents to be vigilant of transient criminals posing as roofers, pavers, seal coaters, tree trimmers, or other laborers after a 65-year-old resident paid over $200,000 to a suspect for leak and unnecessary foundation repairs around his 48th Street home.

According to Capt. Eric Amato, the suspect, identified as Danny Eli, Edison, rang the victim’s doorbell in January, and, after a conversation with the man, agreed to fix a leak in the residence for $1,100.

Known to the victim as Manny Thompson, the suspect made “improper repairs” despite being paid an initial fee. Over the course of 10 more home visits, Eli was paid the additional sum for leak and unnecessary foundation repairs around the home, billing the victim for 1,900 gallons of Flex Seal household sealant. The victim reported the situation to the police on April 6 after Eli insistently called the victim, demanding an additional $15,000.00 as the balance for the work done.

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After an “immediate and swift” investigation by the Bayonne Police Department’s Detective Bureau detectives were able to intercept Eli as he responded to the victim’s home to collect the $15,000 on April 7. During the investigation, it was learned that Eli possessed fraudulent identification and had numerous past arrests in multiple jurisdictions involving various methods of deception.

Police have advised that before home repairs are made, residents should deal with and compare estimates from several reputable companies. Noting that the victim’s recordkeeping, including of payments made, phone numbers and license plate numbers which all aided in the investigation, they advised those undertaking repairs to take similar notes.

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