Suspect scamming elderly in Brooklyn, may be in Queens

Josh Einiger reports from Jackson Heights.
January 24, 2014 8:28:43 PM PST
There's new video of a suspect trying to rip off a retired teacher in Queens under the guise of helping her fix a leak.

But when a couple in Brooklyn saw Eyewitness News' story last night about this rip off, they recognized the scammer.

"All I wanted was to get him out!" said Adrienne Breslow, scam victim.

She thought he was trying to fix a leak, but the man who talked his way into Adrienne Breslow's apartment definitely had something more sinister on his mind.

Security video shows him stalking her on 75th Street in Jackson Heights, waiting for her to unlock the inner lobby door and bolting forward to catch it.

Later, he was peering around a staircase landing, as she made her way to her apartment.

Then, he rang the bell.

"He said, 'There is a leak from the apartment above,'" Breslow said.

Breslow, a retired schoolteacher, says the man gave her a flashlight and asked her to watch the wall in her kitchen while he went to turn on her bathroom sink.

"How stupid did he think I was with the turning the water on in the bathroom and checking in the kitchen?" Breslow said, "And then he said I'm giving you $50. And I said 'For what?' And then I knew it was definitely a scam."

He eventually left without stealing anything. She called police, but they determined there'd been no crime. That was two weeks ago.

But then came Thursday night's Eyewitness News at 6 and a story of two similar cases, miles away, in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.

"I was watching that with my wife and all a sudden comes this person. Me and my wife we both recognized him right away!" said Florin Dakaj, the building superintendent.

Building super Florin Dakaj immediately called Eyewitness News and we called police.

As for Adrienne Breslow, frankly she's pretty embarrassed.

"I still feel like an absolute idiot. I thought I had enough common sense not to allow anyone in," Breslow said.

The building super has posted a flyer in the lobby.

The image from his cameras and the image Eyewitness News reported from the Brooklyn cases, look like the same guy, but only police can tell for sure.

And now detectives in the Brooklyn cases are on their way to Jackson Heights.