New Jersey

Wig-Wearing Woman in Serial NJ Fraud Spree Nabbed After Near Escape: Cops

The suspect, later identified as 43-year-old Brooke Slade of Arizona, was wanted in multiple cases across various counties in New Jersey

What to Know

  • NJ cops have been looking for a wig-wearing bandit in connection with a multi-county fraud spree
  • They flooded social media with photos of her, which help a bank teller flag cops to a possible sighting on Thursday
  • Initially the suspect got away, but she was later tracked down and cops brought her into custody; she is a 43-year-old from Arizona

Authorities have arrested a 43-year-old woman who has allegedly been involved in multiple fraud cases in various New Jersey counties after nearly losing the elusive wig-wearing bandit earlier in the day, officials said Friday. 

Cops had been inundating social media with photos of the woman, and they say a bank teller in Asbury Park recognized her from those pictures on Thursday and called police. The suspect had allegedly tried to make a withdrawal using a fake ID and stolen debit cards using the drive-up window at a PNC Bank on Sunset Avenue shortly after 4 p.m. As cops were on their way, bank staff said they though it was the same woman who had allegedly tried to commit similar fraud at other places that same day. 

When cops showed up to the bank, the woman noticed them and drove off. One cop tried to follow but police say she made several evasive maneuvers and lost him. 

About 15 minutes after cops got the call from the bank, there was another call about a woman trespassing on Heck Street, which was the same area in which the suspect's vehicle was last seen. She was gone by the time cops got there, but police were told she had been seen removing a vehicle's license plate and then running away, through a parking lot. 

The same cop who had tailed and lost her before recognized the vehicle as the same one from the bank. Cops flooded the area and found the woman not far away, on Asbury Avenue. She had identification on her indicating she was Brooke B. Slade, a 43-year-old woman from Arizona. Cops say she was positively identified as the woman in the earlier case at the PNC bank and the woman involved in the trespassing incident and was taken into custody.

Slade is charged with a litany of crimes, including eluding, Xanax possession, receiving stolen property, and a number of driving offenses. Cops say she is believed to have engaged in multiple fraudulent acts in various jurisdictions in the state, and is thought to be the same person of interest out of Toms River and Wall Township. Additional charges may be filed pending the outcome of the investigation. 

Slade's arraignment hadn't been scheduled as of early Friday morning. It also wasn't clear if she had an attorney. 

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