Police & Fire

Thief Steals a Piscataway Good Samaritan’s Laptop While He Rescues Unconscious Woman From Train Tracks


EDISON, NJ –  The old saying “no good deed goes unpunished” proved true for a Piscataway man Friday morning when, after rushing in to save a woman who fainted and fell on the train tracks, he came back to find that someone stole his backpack, containing his computer.

“This theft, perpetrated in the midst of such a selfless good deed, is nothing less than appalling and disgusting,” said Edison Police Chief Thomas Bryan.

Shortly after 7:40 a.m., Madhuri Recherla, 26, fainted and toppled off an Edison Train Station platform onto the northbound tracks, said investigating Officer James Navas.

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Another commuter, who police later identified as Anil Vannavalli, 34, of Piscataway, dropped his backpack on the platform and leaped onto the train tracks to carry the unconscious Edison woman to safety, police said.

While Vannavalli was doing that, police said an unidentified thief among the crowd of morning commuters stole the man’s backpack which contained his laptop computer and headphones, valued at $700; about $200 in cash, and his work identification card, police said.

Recherla was semi-conscious when Officers Navas and Lisa Cimmino arrived at the train station.

She was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Center, in New Brunswick, for treatment.

Police are now investigating the theft.

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