South Brunswick elderly couple robbed and scammed

Lucy Yang has the exclusive story from South Brunswick.
March 13, 2014 8:28:01 AM PDT
An elderly couple was tricked and robbed by scam artists in South Brunswick, New Jersey.

The thieves, working as a team, began their scam with an innocent knock on the door.

By the time Annette and Harold Hochstadt realized they had been tricked, it was too late. The heartless thieves were gone.

"And we went around the back. If it was more than 15 or 20 minutes I'd be surprised," Annette Hochstadt said.

Monday afternoon, the gentle couple answered a knock on their door. The man said he was putting up a neighbor's fence and asked them to accompany them on their property so he could measure.

"And he walked here, and he walked there, and he was talking about the trees," Annette Hochstadt said, "We didn't know what he was talking about because it didn't make any sense."

"He was measuring it from here to the fence," Harold Hochstadt said.

While they were in the back, Eyewitness News is told someone went through the front, stole cash from Annette's purse, and worse yet, grabbed handfuls of her silver jewelry which she spent a lifetime collecting.

"I'm very sad, the likelihood of them ever finding anything is very small and I have to try and say forget it," Annette Hochstadt said.

To add insult to injury, the thief even stole her pillow case to bag all the loot.

"It's called distraction and these people are good," Harold Hochstadt said.

Harold turns 94 tomorrow. He still paints and gardens. Annette turns 88 next month and takes classes at Princeton University.

"It's disheartening to think that these two people who are living in their golden years, were working honorable people were victimized," said Lt. Jim Ryan, of the South Brunswick Police Department.

Besides being told he wore a dark Gap baseball cap, police do not have a very good description of the con man. What they need now is a good tip.