A Verona woman who reported to police that her handbag was stolen from her back porch was surprised to get a call from a woman saying she had the bag.
But the Verona woman had to call police a second time, after the woman on the phone offered to return the handbag after she paid her a “finder’s fee.”
The call led police and the Verona woman to set up a sting operation at the Burger King on Pleasant Valley Way in West Orange.
Police said they became involved after the Verona woman called them and explained what was happening. They waited in the Burger King parking lot prior to the meeting and intervened when the two women met
The meeting resulted in police arresting Talawthon Motyczka, 42, of Hillside on Aug. 24. Motyczka was charged with possession of stolen property and receiving stolen property.
The handbag was stolen from the back porch of the Verona woman’s house during the overnight hours of Aug. 16 and Aug. 17, police said. The woman reported the missing handbag to police on Aug. 18. Police said a “suspicious delivery van” was seen in the driveway at the time of the theft.
Police were unable to say if Motyczka was involved in the theft, saying an investigation was “ongoing.”