Police: N.J. panhandler was carrying $500 purse, iPhone X

UNION TWP., N.J. -- A police department in New Jersey is warning residents not to donate money to people on the side of the road after they caught a woman pretending to need help.

The Township of Union Police Department says officers found the woman walking in and out of traffic on Vauxhall Road.

She was carrying a sign that read, "I have 1 baby. Please in the name of God help me to buy baby stuff and diapers." The sign also had a picture of a young child.

Police said she claimed to be from Romania and was now living in Queens.

Though she was asking for cash for her baby, officers pointed out to her that she was carrying a $500 purse, some jewelry and a new iPhone X.

Police told her she did not appear to be in critical need of cash.

The suspect eventually admitted that she and several other women had been dropped off to panhandle throughout New Jersey.

She was issued a ticket for impeding the flow of traffic and received a township summons of soliciting without a permit.

Police issued this notice to the public: "It is nice to be charitable, but it's not a good idea to donate to someone on the side of the road with a sign. If you see someone who may need help, you can call our HQ and our officers will respond and assess."