UNION TOWNSHIP (Union) — A woman panhandling and holding a sign seeking help to buy "baby stuff"  is really part of a scam operation, police say.

Township of Union police investigated the woman wandering in and out of traffic on Vauxhall Road at Hilton Road (Route 78 west exit ramp), soliciting motorists for cash donations after officers noticed she had a $500 purse, jewelry and a new iPhone X, police said.

The woman, who told officers she was from Romania and now living in Queens,  told police she and several other women had been dropped off around the state. She was ticketed for impeding the flow of traffic and soliciting without a permit.

Police suggested when seeing someone on the side of the road with a sign to call 911 and officers will assess the situation.

"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," police wrote in a Facebook post.


Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.

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