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Fort Lee PD arrest Lodi man in car-repair con of woman, 85

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: An 85-year-old woman was conned into handing over $1,900 for car repairs by a man who pulled alongside her by the George Washington Bridge, but fast-moving Fort Lee police had the suspect in custody soon after.

The victim told police that Rocky Davida of Lodi pulled his car alongside hers on Lemoine Avenue on May 29, “told her that she had damage on her car and that he can fix it cheap,” Detective Capt. Thomas Ottina said this afternoon.

He then had her pull into the Washington Bridge Plaza shopping center, the captain said.

After quoting her a price of $900, Davida pretended to fix the car while his wife and child distracted the elderly woman for nearly 45 minutes, Ottina said.

When it was time to pay, the woman got into Davida’s car. He then drove her to a PNC Bank branch in Hackensack, where she withdrew $1,900, he said.

“When she got back into the front seat of the car she handed the envelope from the bank to [Davida],” Ottina said. “He then handed it to his wife in the backseat… [and] drove the victim back to her vehicle in Fort Lee.”

Soon after, the woman called Fort Lee police.

“Her vehicle was inspected and it showed that the damage that was said to have been fixed clearly was not,” Ottina said.
Supplied with a description of the three, as well as their silver 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan with Florida registration, Fort Lee investigators began investigating.

Yesterday, Detective Howard Ginsburg and Detective Douglas Cabler were at the On the Run on Palisade Avenue when they spotted a man in line resembling Davida.

Looking outside, Ginsburg spotted a silver Dodge Caravan with Florida plates.

As Davida got into the vehicle, the detectives stopped and talked to him.

He told them he is “a self-employed auto repair man who fixes dents,” Ottina said.

Davida, 36, was then taken to headquarters, where he admitted “fixing” the victim’s car, the captain said.

Davida, who records show has an arrest history for charges including extortion, was being held on $10,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail. He is charged with theft by deception.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Elderly readers – and loved ones of those who may not see this story – should know about these types of scams, which target the elderly. ALWAYS get work done by reputable, licensed contractors and ALWAYS get a quote on leaderhead – then run it by loved ones — before committing to anything.

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