Man distracts woman, steals her purse

Awoman was robbed of thousands of dollars when a man distracted her for a few moments before stealing her purse.

Lt. Joe Shannon, Edison police public information officer, said that an 83-year-old Edison resident went to her bank on Dec. 18 around noon and withdrew what Shannon said was a substantial amount of money. She then left and drove to her home on Knapp Avenue. She was in her driveway, still seated in her car, when a man, described as 5 feet 8 inches tall, white or Hispanic, clean-shaven, with black hair and wearing a black jacket, approached her car. She said he spoke broken English but motioned to her rear passenger side tire and indicated that it was flat. The woman went to the back of her car with the suspect and in- spected the tire for two to four minutes, according to police. The suspect then left in a dark-colored, old-model van or sport utility vehicle, last seen headed toward Gaskill Avenue.

When the woman returned to her car, her purse was gone, as was the thousands of dollars in cash she had withdrawn.

Shannon said the police have information that leads them to suspect that the man was in the bank when the victim withdrew her money and followed her home afterward.

The matter is being investigated by Detective Frank Varga. Anyone with more information is requested to call 732-248-7533.

Contact Chris Gaetano at sentnorth@gmnews.com.