A thief has been victimizing Maplewood Town Hall.

No, not some burglar breaking in at night to steal tax payments, or an armed gunman ripping off town workers at gunpoint.

We’re talking about a newspaper poacher who’s been making a habit of walking off with the Township’s copy of The Star-Ledger.

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Such illegal activity prompted a sign to be placed prominently in front of the Valley Street municipal building warning would-be scofflaws to cease and desist in their pilfering of the daily newspaper.

It states clearly: “Newspaper is for Township Clerk. Do not take newspaper”

Township Clerk Liz Fritzen said the paper began disappearing when the Township’s NJ Transit contingency plans began last month, which included special buses being provided between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. for direct access to New York City.

These were added to ease the impact of the rail system’s plans to divert all Midtown Direct trains to Hoboken during renovations and repairs at New York Penn Station. The repairs are expected to continue through Sept. 10.

The buses have been parking on Valley Street in front of Town Hall each weekday ever since. 

“Since the buses have lined up in the morning for staging for commuters our paper is taken 4 out of 5 days a week, or all 5 days,” Fritzen said via email. “The Star Ledger is really not for the Township Clerk … it is for the Township of Maplewood Municipal Offices.”

And remember what’s paying for that newspaper: your tax dollars.