Businesses Beware: ‘Fire Extinguisher Inspector’ Is a Scam

Princeton police said a man posing as a “fire extinguisher inspector” scammed hundreds of dollars from two Princeton coffee shops. The man struck Small World Coffee on Witherspoon Street and Dunkin Donuts on Nassau on Saturday, March 23.

Police said he hit Dunkin Donuts at around 5:30 p.m., posing as a fire extinguisher inspector from Metro Fire Prevention located at 1485 State Street, Trenton (A company and address that do not exist). He proceeded to “service” the shop’s fire extinguishers and collected $378.35 for his services. Police said the victim described the man as bald, white heavy set man, about six 6’2” tall, wearing khakis, a gray polo shirt, and a black baseball cap.

The next victim was Small World Coffee, where the man asked the manager if he could inspect the fire extinguishers to ensure they were up to date. He provided two handwritten receipts for $476.70 to the manager, which was paid in cash. This time he was described as having short dark hair that was shaved, brown eyes, and wearing a brown sweatshirt with no company markings.

Princeton police ask anyone with information about the scam to contact Detective Sergeant Ben Gering at 609-921-2100 ext. 1840 or Detective Adam Basatemur at 609-921-2100 ext. 2170.

Deaths

Eugene F. Duhnoski, 79, on March 23. He worked as a chemical engineer for 26 years at Columbian Chemicals Company and was plant manager of the Trenton plant.

Mary H. (Marie) Cleary, 83, on March 23. She was a retired purchasing agent for the Homasote Company, where she was employed for 40 years.

Nancy J. Ford, 83, on March 23. She retired from N.W.L. Transformers as the head of human resources.

Alicia Blood Taylor, 84, on February 19. She was well known in central New Jersey music circles as the region’s premier soprano soloist for oratorio and other choral performances and in local opera productions.

Julia Casole Chiacchio, 90, on March 21. She co-founded both a Trenton area restaurant, the popular Pat’s Fish and Chips, and the independently family-owned and operated Chiacchio Southview Funeral Home for more than 60 years.

Eugene E. Heaton, Jr., 84, on March 19. He was a senior vice president in marketing and social research at Response Analysis Corporation and Opinion Research Corporation; both of Princeton.

George J. Brenfleck III, 85, on March 20. He owned and operated Brenfleck Fuel Oil Company for many years.

Thomas Bailey Jr., 87, on March 12. He was a small-business owner in Lawrence Township, both as a manager at Bailey Architectural Millwork, started in 1925 by his father and uncles, and as co-owner of Lawrence Bar & Liquors, for some time located in the Lawrence Shopping Center.

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