Other NJ News

Roxbury Cops Nab Serial Con-Man After Foot Chase in Kenvil

baa58ae066a02047f39f_copcars.jpg
baa58ae066a02047f39f_copcars.jpg

ROXBURY, NJ – A serial criminal, who convinced a 78-year-old Kenvil woman to give him more than $30,000 for roof repairs she didn’t get, was arrested last week by Roxbury police following a dramatic foot chase, police said.

The man, Sonny Stanley, 43, of Gutenberg, was charged with obstruction of the administration of law, resisting arrest and theft by deception, police said. Stanley has a long list of prior convictions for similar con-man behavior and was reportedly described by a burglary task force as a member of a band of  "Gypsy Travelers." 

The events leading up to Stanley’s arrest began Sept. 26 when Stanley approached the woman at her house, police said. Stanley claimed he noticed the woman’s roof “had various issues and much of wood … was rotting and new sealant would have to be used to prevent water from leaking inside,” said police, in a statement.

Sign Up for E-News

They said Stanley told the woman he would fix her roof for $20,000 and he told her to go to her bank and withdraw the funds, noting he would wait for her to return, police said. They said the woman came back with $11,000 and gave the cash to Stanley.

The next day, Stanley returned to the house and told the woman to take out an additional $9,000, police said. “Stanley provided her a verbal list of all the work already performed on her roof,” they said. “He then informed the victim that the other side of her roof needed repair and would require an additional $30,000.”

A week later, Stanley paid the woman another visit and demanded she give him an extra $11,500, police said. The woman complied, “and Stanley advised her he would be back for the rest,” said the statement. “It was at this point the victim decided to contact the police.”

According to police, the woman told Roxbury Police Patrolman John Fitzgerald that “she did not want to keep paying Stanley money, especially since he did not do any work to her roof.” They said the patrolman told the woman to keep her door locked and to call police if Stanley made another appearance at her house.

It took nine days for that to happen, police said. When it did, police found Stanley at the woman’s door, they said.

“Corporal (Eric) Henriksen was first on scene … Stanley immediately took off and fled on foot,” said police. They said Henriksen ordered Stanley to stop, but Stanley kept running towards the rear of the house.

“Stanley jumped over a fence, Corporal Henriksen followed and was able to apprehend him and place him under arrest,” police said. “Other officers responding directly to the scene were Patrolman Fitzgerald, Sergeant (Sean) Hefferon, Sergeant (Steve) Curtiss, Patrolman (Devin) Kellar, Patrolman (Matthew) Hill, Patrolman (Matt) Smedberg, Patrolman (Brian) Feeney and Patrolman (Jonathon) Edmunds,” said the statement.

Roxbury Police Patrolman (Silvio) Valdes took a look at the woman’s roof and “confirmed no work had been done … and there was no rotting areas or leaks.”

Police said the woman told Fitzgerald “she was intimidated by Stanley” and said that was part of the reason she felt compelled to pay him.

Stanley is no stranger to law enforcement. Although this was his first arrest in Morris County, he has a long rap sheet, said Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Spokesman Fred Snowflack. “His first offense dates back to 1997 in Hudson County,” Snowflack said. “Along with the Roxbury arrest, he has at least seven other arrests throughout the state for various things including forgery, assault, robbery, theft and burglary. Apparently, he’s submitted different birthdates … and he’s used different names too.”

Stanley was one of 12 people prosecuted by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office for racketeering and crimes like the roof scam in Roxbury. The state said Stanley and his cohorts are part of a criminal gang that targets the elderly for theft by deception and other crimes. A task force affidavit related to the matter characterized the group as a band of "Gypsy Travelers," according to news reports at the time.

Roxbury police are asking the public to be cautious.

*We all have parents and grandparents, so when we see a person taking serious advantage of someone that could be our grandmother, you can bet it didn’t sit well with us,” police said. “Please share this story with the elderly members of your family or elderly neighbors.”

Police warned residents to not open their doors or give money if people posing as contractors approach them. “Call the police department immediately,” they said. “One of our officers will respond to your house to determine if work is really needed and if the contractor is legitimate.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Roselle/Roselle Park

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_e6588c45380c2d3828e0_art_night

Thu, February 22, 6:30 PM

Elizabeth Public Library 3rd Floor Classroom, Elizabeth

Art Night for Adults

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_b59229b3972266545812_magnet_fundraising_auction_2018_flyer_0219

Fri, February 23, 6:30 PM

Union County Vocational Technical Schools, West Hall Cafeteria, Scotch Plains

Union County Magnet High School Silent Auction

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Roselle Community Group to Examine the 'Cost of Being Black in America'

February 17, 2018

ROSELLE, NJ - The Roselle-based community organizing group Community Acting Now will examine the book “The Black Tax: The Cost of Being Black in America" by author Shawn D. Rochester as part of a commemoration of Black History Month.

The discussion will take place Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Anthony Amalfe Community Center, 1268 Shaffer Ave., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event is ...

“Hidden in Plain Sight” - A Presentation Centered Around a Teen’s Bedroom 

ROSELLE, NJ - Parents, grandparents, caregivers, when it comes to your children and drugs, do you know where to look? Do you know what you are looking for? You may be surprised at what is "Hidden in Plain Sight."

The Roselle Everett Hatcher Prevention Coalition and Prevention Links invite all parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers and other adults to have an opportunity to ...

Update: Health Authorities Still Investigating Flu Death of Elizabeth Schoolgirl

February 19, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - The New Jersey Department of Health is continuing to investigate the cause of the passing of Daniela Genaro who attended Nicholas LaCorte - Peterstown School No. 3 after it was confirmed that the student had been diagnosed with influenza. Officials say, it "presently remains unclear whether or not the virus was the primary contributing factor to the child's ...

Another Holiday, Another Encounter with Marine Life along Jersey Shore

February 19, 2018

SPRING LAKE, NJ — In neighboring Spring Lake, a baby seal made its way onto the beach near the north end pavilion early this afternoon.

Photographer Nancy Orlowski discovered the harbor seal pup near the jetty situated just south of the pavilion on Ocean Avenue at Ludlow Avenue.

The seal’s Presidents Day appearance on February 19 comes one day after a whale was spotted off the ...

Colleen Mahr Has Paid Her Dues, Earned Peoples’ Trust, and Left a Track Record of Success

February 20, 2018

Dear Editor:

As a 26-year-old Scotch Plains resident who cares more about the well-being of our town than about local politics, I am extremely disappointed that the Scotch Plains Democratic Committee leadership has decided to abandon Colleen Mahr in her run for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee.

Mahr, who as Mayor of Fanwood for 15 years has worked closely with Scotch Plains ...

Sixteen at-risk youth celebrate one year of stability and new beginning

February 16, 2018

Young people living within New Jersey's child welfare system face daunting odds – often moving from foster family to group home to support program yet never finding their place, sometimes traveling with their belongings in a plastic garbage bag.

"The analogy is not lost on them," said Tanya Johnson, senior assistant executive director, youth services, at the nonprofit ...

Female Boxer Dog Found in the Chandler Ave. Area of Roselle

February 20, 2018

ROSELLE, NJ - A female boxer was found on East 7th Ave. near Chandler Ave. and given to police on Feb. 16. The dog was later transported to the Newark Humane Society where it will be on hold for the owner to claimer her.

Officials from the Humane Society say that the dog is a senior dog and very sweet. If the owner does not claim her, she will be available for adoption on Feb. 24. She is in ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs (Bantom,2017)

How does a writer of a beloved series like Harry Potter or Temperance Brennan break out of their readers' expectations and try something new? For J.K. Rowlings it was the novels penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith; books about a maimed and very flawed private detective with the unlikely name of Cormoran Strike. For Kathy Reichs, it is the ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...