CRANFORD, NJ - On Monday Dec. 8 at approximately 4:15 p.m. a diversionary type burglary occurred on Carolina Street in Cranford. 

The suspect approached the elderly homeowner while raking leaves and claimed to be from the water company.  He flashed an identification badge, however the victim could not see it very well. The suspect stated he wanted to check the homeowner’s water supply in the house. He alleged there were contaminants in the water supply due to a chemical spill in the area and two people were hospitalized as a result of it.

Once inside the home, they proceeded to a utility room where he ran the water and washing machine. He made a 10- to 20-second phone call to this alleged boss while doing so. The suspect was inside the home for approximately 15 minutes with the homeowner, who became impatient and the suspect said the test was over and left abruptly. The homeowner watched the suspect leave on foot toward Lexington Avenue. He never observed a suspect vehicle and no other suspects were seen in the area.

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After the suspect left, the homeowner discovered the bedrooms were ransacked and various items had been taken.  

Sergeant Gerard Quinn of the Cranford Police Department provided precautionary tips for residents:

-Don’t allow strangers into your home, especially if you didn’t schedule or request any type of service (i.e., utilities, tree trimming, home inspectors, etc.).

-Be aware of those inquiring about the neighborhood and the whereabouts of your neighbors (i.e., are they at work, on vacation, etc.).

-Report suspicious activity to the Cranford Police Department and attempt to obtain as much information regarding the incident (i.e., subject’s description, vehicle make/model, license plate, etc.) as possible.

-Observant neighbors are essential in keeping neighborhoods safe and deterring crime.    


Anyone with information is asked to contact

Detective Derek Farbanec at (908) 709-7347 or