Fake Water Department Worker Ties Up Woman, Robs NJ Home

The man allegedly posed as a worker with the water department and was wearing a workman's safety vest when he knocked

By Ida Siegal
|  Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012  |  Updated 9:28 AM EDT
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A robber dressed as a utility worker knocked on the door of a Livingston, N.J. home and forced himself in when a woman answered, police said Monday. Ida Siegal reports.

Ida Siegal

A robber dressed as a utility worker knocked on the door of a Livingston, N.J. home and forced himself in when a woman answered, police said Monday. Ida Siegal reports.

A robber dressed as a utility worker knocked on the door of a Livingston, N.J. home and forced himself in when a woman answered, police said Monday. 

The woman, who worked for the home's owners, answered the door and found a man wearing a  safety vest, posing as a worker with the water department, police said. The suspect knocked her to the ground, tied her up and pulled her around the house.

The homeowners were not there at the time.

As the suspect dragged the victim through the home, he asked where all the valuables were kept in the upscale home on North Hillside Avenue, according to police. He then left the victim, still bound with tape, in the bathroom.

"While she was alone in the bathroom, she was able to find a razor blade and she was able to cut the tape by herself with the razor blade she found in the bathroom," said Livingston Police Capt. Gary Marshuetz.

The victim then called 911. When he realized what the woman had done, the suspect attacked her again and then fled in a car outside, police said.

"It's very shocking," said neighbor Dr. Bill Chenitz. "I'm unaware of any similar incidents occurring in this neighborhood. This is really a shocker."

Police arrived as the suspect was leaving, obtained a license plate number and put out an alert. Police in West Orange spotted him 10 minutes later and arrested him.

It wasn't immediately clear if the suspect, 48-year-old Tyrone Gadsden, had an attorney.

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