POHATCONG — There may be evidence of an ongoing scam playing out in the parking lots of grocery stores and supermarkets in Warren County, according to police who responded to the latest such incident Thursday.

The Pohatcong Township Police Department said on Facebook that one of its officers was dispatched to the Aldi parking lot to speak with an elderly victim who claimed her wallet had been stolen — but that it didn't happen outside that store.

Instead, the woman told police, she was in her vehicle outside the ShopRite in neighboring Greenwich Township earlier Thursday, when she was approached by someone she described as a Hispanic male.

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Police said the woman told them that the man showed her some lugnuts from a vehicle's tire and explained, in broken English, that the pieces had come off her car.

When she rolled down her window, according to the investigation, the man took her wallet and fled on foot.

Pohatcong police said they have seen "several similar cases" this year that are "very alarming," and have already made one arrest.

Police Chief Scott Robb confirmed in an email to New Jersey 101.5 that that arrest stemmed from an incident about a month ago at the Pohatcong Stop & Shop.

All of the encounters, police said, have involved a Hispanic male, and the police department said it would release photos soon.

Anyone with further information is urged to contact authorities.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com

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