A suspected flim-flam man dangled the keys to a Tesla and apartments as bait to hook “multiple” New Jersey victims, authorities said.
Maintenance man John DelValle bilked prospective renters out of $14,000 by posting fraudulent listings on Facebook, showing them empty units he claimed he owned, and then pocketing the deposits, police said.
The Hackensack resident switched gears from apartments to cars and duped at least three people, including one out of $7,000 by selling him a 2019 Tesla Model 3 he had been renting, Garfield Police Capt. Mario Pozo told The Post.
“He’s gotten at least three victims with the Tesla and many with the apartment,” Pozo estimated.
DelValle, 48, did plumbing work at a Maple Street complex and was given the master keys to the apartments “so he knew which apartments were empty,” the chief said.
DelValle would collect $2500 deposits, and even had the suckers sign bogus rental agreements and give them useless keys, Pozo said.
The con was hatched in November when DelValle posted fake rental listings on Facebook Marketplace for the complex where he worked, Pozo said.
Cops charged DelValle with theft by deception on Nov. 28, but he was issued a summons and released under New Jersey’s bail reform law following the incident, Pozo said.
DelValle was again collared on Dec. 13 for allegedly running the same con.
But he was in and out of Bergen County jail in a matter of days, public records show.
The Hackensack man then allegedly tested his luck in the car market when he posted the Tesla for sale on Facebook Marketplace for $17,000.
The unidentified victim told police he gave DelValle $7,000 and his Nissan Altima on Dec. 30 to secure the all-electric ride, which is valued at $36,000.
The victim drove the Tesla home, only to find it gone the next morning, Pozo said.
Detectives obtained an arrest warrant for DelValle, who was spotted by an off-duty Garfield officer near the Saddle Brook Mall on Jan. 5 and taken into custody, authorities said.
Cops again charged DelValle with theft by deception and he briefly cooled his heels in the Bergen County jail before being released, cops and court records show.
“We can only do our part. We can’t really decide whether he remains in jail or not,” Pozo lamented.
Three additional hoodwinked apartment hunters have filed complaints with the Garfield PD, Pozo said, adding his department is still getting calls from alleged victims of both scams.